South Collegiate Fitness Expo comes to UNCW

Joe Lowe | Staff Writer

UNC Wilmington will welcome fitness coaches, personal trainers and students to the 20th annual Southeastern Collegiate Fitness Expo at the UNCW Recreational Center on Feb. 22 and 23.

This is the first time UNCW will host the SCFE, which invites students and faculty from over 40 universities across the country. Attendees include personal trainers, group exercise instructors and fitness directors.

The SCFE began as an informational session between the University of Virginia and Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. Since then it has been hosted up and down the eastern coast of the US. UNCW Associate Director of Fitness, Steven Trotter, hosted the tenth annual SCFE at Virginia Tech. Trotter says attendance is always high.

“There are already 235 people registered and expected to be about 350. They come as far south as Florida already up to PA,” Trotter said.

In accordance with their motto, “New Wave of Fitness,” their focus is on introducing new fitness leaders into the field and creating an environment that promotes positive and creative idea exchange. The expo will include programs such as standing paddle board, or SUP, yoga, a yoga master class, BODYPUMP instructor classes and a demo team competition between attending universities.

Roxi Norowzi, an avid gym-goer, plans to attend each of the sessions to learn more about yoga.

“Flexibility is the most neglected component of fitness. The regular practice of yoga improves not only flexibility but also physical, mental, and spiritual health,” Norowzi said. “Yoga is especially beneficial to busy college students, because it helps to relieve stress and soothe anxiety.”

The demo team competition will have ten university teams competing in three to five minute intervals, listening to music of their choice. Each team has to include at least four different classes of fitness—strength, yoga, step, cardio, kickboxing, dance—within the routine.

Featured as the main speaker for the expo is Jessica Matthews, assistant professor of exercise science at Miramar College. She will speak about paddleboard yoga and her experiences in the fitness industry. Matthews writes as a fitness blogger for Fitbie, Weight Watchers, and Shape magazine and has also contributed to CNN, Women’s Health,, and USA Today.

“I’ll be giving insights into exactly how I’ve grown my career in so many different areas…The ability to motivate, inspire and educate individuals on their personal health and fitness journey brings me such great joy and fulfillment,” Matthews said.

Matthews’ pursuit to help others attain their fitness goals led her to pursue her undergraduate and graduate degree in physical education. She began teaching group fitness classes 14 years ago, and hopes to motivate students into following a career in fitness.

“I am fortunate enough to teach exercise science-related classes full-time and to inspire hundreds upon hundreds of new students entering into the profession and share with them all of the things I’ve learned along the way about working in such a great field,” Matthews said.

Registration costs $65 for students and $75 for professional trainers and instructors who do not belong to a university in attendance. All payments must be received by Feb. 14.