Campus Poker Walk encourages students to be active

Kalee Chism

Last Wednesday, walkers on campus came together to play poker in an unexpected way. The Poker Walk is an event in which participants walk around the loop on campus, collecting one card from each of the five stations. Both the student walker and faculty/staff walker with the best hand at the end earns a prize.

This is the first Poker Walk since 2015, but it is traditionally a biannual event: one in the spring and one in the fall. The Poker Walk has a long history on WKU’s campus, according to Andrew Jones, the fitness coordinator at the Health and Fitness Lab.

“The Poker Walk is part of an initiative by the Health and Fitness Lab over 10 years ago to incorporate more activity into the daily life of the campus community,” Jones said. “By having a fun event centered around an activity that anyone on campus can do at any time, it shows how accessible a the campus loop is for walking & running.”

The Poker Walk is free and “very casual,” according to Jones. Jones wants events like this to encourage more activity on campus and in the community.

“We hope events like this can cause the campus community to be more active and utilize the campus walking trails in addition to the other recreation services,” Jones said. “Essentially, it gets the point across that people can still exercise without having a facility or a membership.”

Jones said the most difficult part of planning the event is trying to get new people involved.

“The toughest part of planning this type of event is getting new people involved,” Jones said. “That includes new participants as well as new volunteers who may not know exactly what a Poker Walk is.”

Wednesday turned out to be an especially beautiful day on the Hill, and, according to Jones, made the event that much better.

“The most exciting aspect is the gorgeous weather that just happen to occur during our planned event time,” Jones said. “That makes the environment much more pleasant and exciting for all involved.”

In the future, Jones said he hopes to expand the Walk and add a service portion.

“Next year we’re hoping to branch out and get other departments involved and incorporate a canned food drive or really anything we can do to make this benefit more people within the community,” Jones said.

Reporter Kalee Chism can be reached at 270-745-2655 and [email protected]