The new Director of Campus Recreation and Student Recreation Center Hugues Lecomte. In 1996, Lecomte moved from Paris to the United States where he has lived for 20 years and where he received a bachelor’s in Natural Resource Recreation and Tourism and a masters degree in Sports and Recreation Management at the University of Idaho. After receiving his masters degree, he worked as the Director of Campus Recreation at California State San Marcos. Lecomte is a lifetime member of NIRSA (National Intramural and Recreational Sports Association) and brings over fifteen years of experience within campus recreation to Southern Oregon.
The Siskiyou: What attracted you to Southern Oregon University?
Lecomte: One of the many things is this facility. This doesn’t happen many times and this is a very exciting time for the SOU community. Apart from that, a great appeal for me is everything about SOU itself. Whether it’s a strong emphasis on environmental concerns or the fact that SOU is a top 25 school ranked for an LGBTQ campus. The fact that SOU is the first bee friendly campus, and that there is an organic farm on campus. Also the genuine personalities and spirit that I had been exposed to when I came for my interviews. When I got to meet the great colleague community, I was very well received and I very much value that.
The Siskiyou: Why did you chose to work within campus recreation?
Lecomte: I’ve had experience by being directly involved within all areas of campus recreation. That involved a lot of programs at the beginning of my career in intramural sports and sports clubs, administration, outdoor program, outdoor adventures, and fitness programs involving group exercise and personal trainers. I’ve also been exposed with the facility side of running a recreation center, I love all the aspects. Through campus recreation, we have that mission to provide wellness opportunities; opportunities of well being to students but to also staff and faculty. I love to be apart of the transformative experience that an academic setting can provide.
The Siskiyou: With the recreation center opening at the beginning of 2018, do you expect there to be an increase in indoor club and intramural sports?
Lecomte: With intramural sports, definitely! With the facility this is a completely new platform for intramural sports. With the space that we will have we would definitely like to see sports like basketball and futsol come into play. Allie Boghart who works with intramural and club sports is very excited about starting new programs with the new facility. For club sports it is a different scenario. We can advise and manage the clubs but we cannot create clubs. If new clubs see the facility as a great place that they can utilize for their sport, then we can evaluate that and figure out how to give them access if they need. For example, we do not have a basketball club, but if a group of students sees the new facility and realizes that a basketball club is attainable because of the new facilities then they can create a club.
The Siskiyou: What are some things you love to do in your free time?
Lecomte: I love to ride bikes, and I’ve got different bikes from road to mountain. I also love watersports like kayaking. I am very much looking forward to skiing again with Mount Ashland near. I think my favorite thing in the outdoors though would be backpacking and camping. I love to explore the region and especially those remote areas whether its national parks or wilderness areas. This is how I really get to connect with myself the best, when I go into nature and go into contact with nature. It allows me to make peace and focus within myself. I also love to spend quality time with my girlfriend. I think personal time with your partner or your family is very important, and that is something that is part of my overall balance.