Athletics and Recreation - COVID-19 Impacts & Updates

UPDATE: Wednesday April 16, 2020 @ 12:00pm

Hello Banana Slugs,

As our campus community continues to be proactive in maximizing physical distancing and progresses with remote learning, we want to acknowledge the critical work you all are doing. We also need to address how important it is for us all to stay physically active and connected to one another. On that note, we are happy to be able to offer you a variety of virtual fitness and recreational opportunities through this unusual time.

While our Athletics and Recreation facilities are not currently available to us, sheltering in place has provided an opportunity for us to think creatively about how we can facilitate your wellness as we move through this quarter together. We are pleased to share with you just some of the following options for virtual, recreational programming this spring at no cost to current students:

In addition to staying physically and mentally engaged with the above programs, you also have the opportunity to participate in shaping what our next Banana Slug mascot will look like via the #NewSlug2020 campaign. So far we have collected over 7,300 survey responses from current students, faculty, staff, alumni, and community members. We are now in Design Phase 3 of #NewSlug2020 and ready to see what you think in a short survey linked here. We know how important the Banana Slug is to you and we invite you to participate as we enter the final two design phases of this process.

On behalf of all Athletics and Recreation staff and #NewSlug2020 committee members, we hope you are staying physically active, healthy and well throughout this unprecedented time apart. 


Go Slugs!

Susan W. Harriman

Director of Athletics and Recreation

University of California, Santa Cruz

1156 High Street, Santa Cruz, CA  95064


Additional Virtual Content Publicly Available

  • Banff Centre Mountain Films: Enjoy a curated program of free Festival films online. Be inspired. Then next February, join us at the Rio Theatre for Recreation’s 30-year anniversary of hosting Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour.
  • Rock Climbing: Spend time virtually climbing on El Capitan in Yosemite National Park (Google Earth). See a detailed view of one of the most famous rock climbs in the world with Alex Honnold, from the Oscar-winning movie Free Solo, and Lynn Hill, a Yosemite climbing legend.
  • Whitewater Rafting: Virtually raft the Grand Canyon and explore why it’s the world’s most endangered river (Google Earth). Get virtual access to the Colorado River as you descend through the canyon and all of it’s geological formations, while learning why this American treasure is the world’s most endangered river.
  • Sea Kayaking: Virtually kayak Santa Cruz Island (YouTube), in the Channel Islands National Park off our Southern California Coast with sea lions and foxes. Also included are tips on how to plan your own trip.
  • Local Explorations: We may not be able to get out in person to enjoy our local outdoor spaces. So for now, instead enjoy your own personal Mobile Ranger. Enjoy one of 17 self-guided mobile tours of Santa Cruz County, including one tour on the natural history of our UC Santa Cruz campus.
  • Natural History: Explore and connect with nature wherever you find it with the iNaturalist app. Identify plants and animals, record your own observations and connect with a community of naturalists. Begin by seeing. Pause to observe. Seek to understand.
  • Meditation and Mindfulness: Do you feel like a stressed out peace lover or a doubting truth seeker, still looking for the missing "Peace?" Walk through simple steps to serenity with Pernilla Lillarose, a longtime Recreation instructor.
  • Rock Climbing: Grab a piece of rope, or shoelaces, and check out Outdoor Research's videos with the American Mountain Guide Association. There are many helpful tutorials on safely building and cleaning anchors, rappelling and clipping quickdraws. These are great skills to practice at home if you are hoping to climb outside.