John Yovicsin, former Harvard football coach, is the director of the new physical education and recreation program which was initiated this fall.
In an interview yesterday, Yovicsin explained that "this program is designed to give all undergraduates an opportunity to participate in sports of their own choice with good instructors in small classes."
Twenty different courses are offered this fall including instruction in such courses as scuba-diving, tennis, yoga, sailing, and horseback riding.
"The program has had a tremendous start, in fact we were overwhelmed by the response of the students." Yovicsin said. According to recent figures, approximately 500 students are taking advantage of the new program. Yovicsin feels that the new program will become a very integral part of the athletic program at Harvard. "This program gives everyone a chance to select an activity which they develop in and carry on with them for the rest of their lives," Yovicsin said.
Yovicsin is also responsible for coordinating the activities of the club sports. Yovicsin re-emphasized the difference between the two programs, adding. "The clubs sponsor a team and compete against other teams in the area. The new recreation program is purely casual with no competition involved."
At present, clubs in existence include: a gymnastics club, pistol club, rugby club, rifle club, polo club, water-polo club, outing club, fishing club, white-water club, sailing and two karate clubs.
All the clubs are self-supporting, receiving no aid from the university. The clubs manage to support themselves by charging their members dues. Yovicsin would like to see the college give the clubs more direct support. "I would eventually like to see a nominal budget set up for the clubs by the athletic department." Yovicsin said. "I feel that the clubs will always be a part of the total Harvard picture and urge that we should continue to develop both programs."