FAAP FITNESS CENTER AND ATHLETICS ASSOCIATION: LIVING A HEALTHY LIFE
FAAP's fitness center (opened in 2000) is a valuable part of its project of educating professionals to high levels of excellence as well as developing citizens able to face life's challenges. This activity synthesizes the idea of education as combination of having acquired knowledge but also knowing how to make the right choices.
By encouraging healthy living as a source of pleasure and a way of building practical support for success (the stamina, health, alertness, and lucidity needed to make coherent decisions quickly), FAAP shows it is attuned to the importance of sport, fitness, and nonsedentary habits as a differential in life style (professional or otherwise) in the 21st century.
FAAP's fitness center meets international standards for quality with the best equipment and training techniques, bold design, and extensive opening hours. A multidisciplinary team is on hand to offer visitors personalized assistance. There is a musclebuilding room, spinning room, physical examination rooms, and dressing rooms in acclimatized environments, with different types of classes for different audiences: localized gymnastics, step, stretching, circuit, abdominal, jump fit, spinning, and other variations in this field that is always innovating.
Before they start any sport, all students at the Center take a full physical examination, including cardiovascular capacity and muscular resistance, postural analysis, body mass, and measurements. These are essential data needed to plan suitable training sessions.
Interaction and socializing eventually become targets, achievements, and consequences in the world of amateur or professional sport, so the idea of healthy living, in the case of FAAP too has gained an important extension. Eco Adventure is a twice-yearly event lasting three days and comprises different challenges or trials in contact with nature. The aim is to encourage students to practice physical exercise and thus help them enjoy healthy living styles. Team spirit and a liking for adventure are featured in trekking, whitewater rafting, mountain biking, riding, and abseiling.
Eco Adventure was first organized in November 2001, with only thirty-two athletes. It was an entirely new initiative for Brazilian universities. Over the years interest has grown as more people want to practice physical activities that combine interaction with nature and social activities. Eco Adventure has become a popular event and every year numbers of entries set new records. In 2004, an average of 120 athletes attended training sessions at FAAP fitness center and put them into practice, using strategies and organizational methods for better performance.
The Eco Adventure events have discovered some outstanding athletes and led to a mixed team (of six members) being fielded to compete in adventure races in Brazil and internationally. FAAP was once again in the forefront and encouraged students to continue training and competing.
FAAP's Adventure Team has traveled to competitions such as the Patagonia Volcanoes Challenge (Argentina); Nike Gaia in Buenos Aires (Argentina); and the Raid World Championship in France and Italy.
The Academic Athletics Association was founded in 1991 and organizes all FAAP sporting events internally and externally as part of the São Paulo University Sports Federation (locally Fupe). With more than 1,000 members, it holds four traditional competitions every six months: the Communication and Arts University Games (locally Juca); the Engineering Olympics with several engineering courses taking part; Economics Olympics for Economics and Management students; and Legal Games for law schools. These games cover all types of events and are always held in the interior of the state.
The Athletics Association also runs its Summer Games event on the beach at Maresias, on the north coast of the state of São Paulo, with thousands taking part in beach soccer, volleyball, and handball, etc. Taking part in the competitions has provided unforgettable experiences that have been enriching from many different angles.
There is also an ongoing series of special external events in which FAAP competes with other universities.
The emphasis on sport as part of a healthy life has many variations at FAAP; one of them took place in October 2001 with support from the Athletics Association and became an authentic "night of champions." Eder Jofre (bantam-weight boxer and world champion), Paula Gonçalves (world champion basketball team member), José Roberto Guimarães (volleyball coach, gold medal at the Barcelona Olympic Games), Aurélio Miguel (gold medal for judo at the Seoul Olympics), Hideraldo Bellini (twice world champion soccer team member, in Sweden and Chile), and Victor Mirshawka (FAAP's cultural director, member of the world champion basketball team in Rio de Janeiro in 1963, and Olympic bronze medal winner in Tokyo in 1964) shared their experiences of challenge, discipline, and achievements as elements that are also part of the history of the Institution.