FGCU student Jordan Brown is petitioning the university to incorporate a ninja warrior lounge to the fitness center that will be built on campus. As of Tuesday, Jan. 26, Brown had gotten 600 signatures.
“I go for a hundred (signatures) every day,” Brown said. He is training in Miami, but comes to campus every weekend to get signatures.
The petition is requesting a ninja warrior parkour training area, gymnastics area, rock wall and trampoline in the new Student Academic Health and Life Fitness Center. The SAHLFC will cost $18 million and will be 118,000 square feet.
The center does not yet have a specific date for completion. According to the document, all of these obstacles will benefit students by “having them focus on another part of fi tness, which is body weight training” and because “training on obstacles can help students relate to overcoming obstacles in their own life.”
Additionally, the petition proposes the idea that the cheerleaders could practice in the ninja lounge instead of going to the gym in Alico Arena, where they currently practice.
“I think it would really benefi t the school, and it would make us more unique for having the only ninja lounge,” Brown said. “There’s a place that only has a gymnastics area, but there’s no area that has the three combined.”
Brown has been training to qualify for the next season of NBC’s “American Ninja Warrior” for almost a year now. During the fall 2015 semester, he trained using the Veterans Pavilion at FGCU and a local Fort Myers gym for gymnastics. This semester, he has been training in his hometown of Miami and taking all of his classes online.
“I already live in Miami, so it’s easier,” Brown said. “My training has stepped up to a whole other level in the Miami Ninja Lounge. All I do is wake up, train, hang out with my parents and go to sleep. Then, wake up and do it again.”
Brown said the idea of the petition fi rst came to him while he was practicing his flips and jumps.
“It came to me when I was training,” Brown said. “When I was there, I was thinking, ‘What if this was in FGCU?’ … I think kids would have so much fun.”
The ANW show team called Brown about two weeks ago and told him his video was being examined by the casting director.
“They said they liked my video,” Brown said. “So, basically, I’m waiting for February to get a callback and see. I just got to play the waiting game.”
If Brown is cast, he will participate in the fi rst qualifying round in Orlando, and if he does well, then, he will move on to the regional qualifi cation round. If he makes it all the way, he will be on the show, which will be recorded from March to April and air in May. Brown hopes to qualify all the way and plans to introduce the petition to the school’s authorities while he’s in the competition.
“What I want to do is I want to give President Bradshaw the petition while I’m in the competition, so they can see how much interest there is in the sport and say ‘Oh, OK, so the students like it, and we have one student that’s representing,’” Brown said. “Then, he’ll probably want to actually think about having a (ninja) gym here as well.”
Tom Mayo, the director of facilities planning, said the university hired a design consultant to design the facility.
“We’re trying to plan out what types of spaces, what type of activities will be held and what type of equipment we will need for those activities,” Mayo said.
Mayo mentioned meetings were held several months ago with students to see what they wanted to and nobody mentioned any ninja warrior gyms. However, these could still be a possibility.
“I believe that the spaces inside the building could accomodate those activities,” Mayo said. “I know there’s going to be space. I’m just not sure that we would have the equipment for it.”