‘Inside UVA’: President Talks With One of the Largest Student Employers on Grounds

February 25, 2022 By Jane Kelly, jak4g@virginia.edu Jane Kelly, jak4g@virginia.edu

Audio: ‘Inside UVA,’ with Erika Perkins, head of UVA's Intramural-Recreations Sports Program(14:44)

President Ryan and Perkins talk fitness, fun and health in this edition.


Erica Perkins, an avid athlete, has been working at the University of Virginia’s Division of Intramural and Recreational Sports in various capacities since 1995 and is now its executive director.

It’s a massive operation that has broad responsibilities, including running four large athletic centers, including two with aquatics facilities, plus the McArthur Squash Center and all of UVA’s outdoor fields and courts.

What makes it all go, she said, is student employees.

“Our students are lifeguards, rock climbing instructors, tennis instructors – so our students are the backbone of our operations,” Perkins said during her appearance on the newest installment of “Inside UVA,” President Jim Ryan’s podcast about how the University is run. “We are one of the largest student employers on Grounds.”

IM-Rec Sports offers fitness classes including indoor cycling, dance, strength training and yoga, plus competitive sports leagues and even cornhole tournaments.

There’s also an outdoors component. “We do hikes, paddling, kayaking, backpacking, wilderness first aid, and we have a rental center,” Perkins said. “So, you know, a group wants to go camping on a weekend or whatnot, they can get all the gear they need to be able to do that – sleeping bags, tents, all of it.”

Perkins said she and her staff welcome students with open arms and even tailor experiences for student groups or even students living on a hall in a dorm. The sky is the limit.

You can listen to the entirety of Ryan’s interview with Perkins on most podcast apps, including Apple Podcasts, Spotify and Google Podcasts.

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Jane Kelly

University News Senior Associate Office of University Communications