The Bronco Recreation and Intramural Complex (BRIC) is a place for all students to build up their strength and improve their physical fitness and health. However, pushing personal records to the limit, poor gym ethics, and unfit equipment used in the BRIC can lead to serious injuries.
With heavy weights and complex machinery, it’s undeniable that the BRIC faces frequent student injuries.
“Between July 1, 2017 through June 30, 2018, there were about 260 injuries reported during that period of time,” said Krista Smith, the BRIC’s director of recreation. “The majority of those were minor injuries.”
Opened in 2014 at Cal Poly Pomona, the three-story, 165,000 feet BRIC includes a 51-foot rock wall, an indoor track, an outdoor pool, courts for basketball, badminton and volleyball, training equipment including treadmills and weights, and plenty of other machines for students to utilize.
The BRIC receives an average of 3,500 students per day and over 17,000 per week.
Compared to the number of students the BRIC receives weekly, Smith said there is an average of only five injuries per week reported in the building. This number fluctuates based on the different quarters or semesters.
BRIC staff members are required to take written record of every injury and instance of medical assistance, from giving out a band-aid to rushing a student to emergency medical services.
Third-year electronic business student Andrew Welch recalled his painful injury at the BRIC as he was climbing the rock wall.
“Two years ago, my friend and I were rock climbing and after a short fall, I hit the ground quickly on my foot and I broke my big toe,” Welch said.
Welch recalled falling a few feet to the floor as the person belaying him let go of the rope because that person was getting rope burn.
The most common injuries recorded at the BRIC include rolled ankles, dislocated knees and dislocated shoulders. A majority of reported injuries are from recreational sports played in the BRIC.
“We have plenty of sprained ankles that occur during basketball games and pulled muscles that can happen during heavy weightlifting,” Building Manager Eric Kinjo said. “Occasionally, we may deal with possible concussions as well, which can happen during intramural sports games.
This is where our operations staff would come in to provide anything from ice, joint wrapping, emergency oxygen or even EMS [emergency medical services] transport services.”
The most recent major injury in the BRIC this year was a concussion in May 2018.
Injuries can result from a variety of things, including not securely clipping heavy weight bars, using weights and machines without proper instruction, using gear in poor condition and not stretching before a workout.
To assist in preventing injuries, staff members circulate throughout the different parts of the BRIC to ensure students working out are as safe as possible at all times.
Staff on duty at any given time can include one to three building managers, operations staff, lifeguards at the pool, adventure attendants at Bronco Peak, fitness program assistants and recreation technicians.
“All of our staff are certified in CPR for the professional rescuer, first aid AED [automated external defibrillators] and emergency oxygen administration,” Smith said. “Our building managers and other supervisor staff have advanced first aid certification and training above and beyond that.”
Smith recommended that all BRIC members stretch before working out, hydrate themselves and eat an hour prior to coming in.
Designated stretching areas are located on the second floor of the BRIC so members can warm up their muscles before an intense workout to avoid injury.
“We unfortunately cannot prevent all injuries from occurring but I feel that we are well equipped and well trained to respond when something does occur,” Smith said.
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