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Nicole Evans standing in front of a white wall with a white sweater on.

UM Recreation Services testimonial: Nicole Evans

Skilled instructors and varied classes make Joe Doupe a special place, says Evans

June 15, 2022 — 

Nicole Evans works at a provincial lab near the Joe Doupe Recreation Centre (JDRC) at the UM’s Bannatyne campus. As someone who has tried many different gyms and work-out styles over the years, when she started working at the lab and signed up for a membership at JDRC she was pleasantly surprised by the diverse fitness classes offered through the centre. Evans says that the unique skills and experiences the instructors bring to the classes are really what makes JDRC a special place for her, and is why she’s kept coming back for the past thirteen-and-a-half years. 


To begin, can you tell us your history of involvement with the Joe Doupe Recreation Center?

I work at a provincial lab and I’ve come to Joe Doupe pretty much ever since I started there, which was about 14 years ago . . . so I’ve been a member with Joe Doupe for about 13 and a half years. I love it, I love the classes, I try to attend the classes and if I can’t make a class I run on the track.

What do you enjoy about Joe Doupe and how does it compare to other fitness centres you’ve attended in the past?

For as long as I can remember I’ve attended gyms— the European Health spa, I lived in South Korea for three years and I practiced Tae Kwon Do. I’ve been to many gyms, Shapes for example, and I mean they were they were all good, but I really love the instructors here. I love the convenience of being able to attend the class on my lunch hour. It’s not like I have to leave and go drive somewhere. I love having the track there. I don’t usually use a weight room because I do have weights at home and there is resistance training involved in a lot of the classes. I just love the variety. Brenda is definitely one of my favorites, if not my favorite instructor I’ve ever had. I love her choreography, there’s so much variety, it’s really great. And it’s reasonably priced. So, it’s super convenient, I have a locker here, I just leave my gym clothes there for the week. It’s really perfect.

What would you say to someone who’s feeling unsure or hesitant about getting involved in UM Recreation Services?

I would say don’t worry about it. If you go to one of Brenda’s classes, she caters to people who have been attending her class for years, she gives them options. In fact, I would say don’t worry at all. The facility and the instructors are very approachable and just start slow and start where you’re at and move from there. You’re very well received there.

What kind of workout classes does Brenda teach?

Oh, she does so many! She does bosu, she does high-low, she does double step, she does a lot of dance stuff, she does weights, she does a butt and gut, she does a body conditioning. There’s a lot of variety to her choreography and her queuing is fantastic. Yeah, I’m a big fan.

I mean, all the instructors are great, and there’s been a lot that come and go over the years. I just did a Pilates class with Treasure and that was fantastic too. I’ve done a variety. Leah was one of the instructors for a while. Shivaun, who is an amazing yoga instructor. She was there on Friday, I haven’t been able to go for a little while, unfortunately, but she’s the real deal for yoga.

I just I feel very, very fortunate to have access to such a great gym. Great people, great instruction, super convenient it’s very reasonably priced. Yeah, I love it.

UM Recreation Services members or prospective members who want to attend a fitness class are encouraged to check out the Fort Gary group fitness schedule and the Joe Doupe group fitness schedule for more detailed information.

Are you a UM Recreation Services member or participant with your own story to tell? We are still looking for testimonials from individuals who use our services. If you are interested, please reach out to: kyle [dot] sokoloski [at] umanitoba [dot] ca.


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