Christen Ruff recently became assistant director of the Clayton State University Department of Recreation & Wellness for intramural and club sports, coming directly to Clayton State from London, and the 2012 Summer Olympics.
Ruff’s experience volunteering at the 2012 Olympics included two weeks at the wrestling venue.
“About three years ago, I wanted to volunteer for the winter Olympics in Canada as part of an internship for my Sport Management degree at the University of Tennessee,” Ruff says. “When I went to sign up, I quickly realized that I was two years too late, so I decided to look two years into the future at the London 2012 games, not knowing where I would be in my life. Over those two years, I had a formal interview with the London Organizing Committee for the Olympic Games and also attended a test event and training which was held in London in December.
“I was officially considered a wrestling field of play attendant, where I escorted athletes onto the field of play and ensured the safety of players and coaches by monitoring accreditation access points. Overall, it was an experience of a lifetime! As a young girl who has always loved and valued sports and athletic competition, being part of the Olympics, the highest level of sporting competition, was an experience and dream of a lifetime. Cheering on team USA was such a great feeling and I felt proud to be representing my country at that level of athletic competition.”
Ruff brings that same enthusiasm with her to Clayton State. She explains how the campus at UT provided her with amazing opportunities when she was in college and how she would love to pay it forward to the students at Clayton State.
“I am new to the Recreation & Wellness Department at Clayton State,” she says. “But I have worked in campus recreation for more than five years now. I come from traditionally larger institutions, but I am extremely excited about being a part of the Clayton State University family. There is an overwhelming feeling of community between students, faculty, and staff at here that I hope to be able to join.
“My immediate goal is to provide a solid structure that allows for the growth of both my programs and student participants. I want to provide a wider range of sporting activities that allows a larger percentage of the student population to get involved in both intramural sports and club sports. I want to see more students step up and become leaders of their peers by creating a club sport. Club sports are a designed to serve individual interests in different sports and recreational activities and they give students the opportunity to initiate and lead their own student organization which is a great opportunity for Clayton State students!”
Ruff says she is also all about student development, and is most excited about getting more students involved in the Recreation & Wellness Department with the goal of being able to create bonds and relationships to help them become an even bigger part of the University.