At Sweet Briar, athletics and physical education are an important part of educating the whole student. Department faculty and staff are committed to enhancing the physical, mental and emotional well-being of all students as an integral part of their educational experience. The instructional program offers a wide range of activities allowing each student to develop skills and knowledge that will contribute to a healthy lifestyle.
Our intercollegiate athletics program provides opportunities for competition for students with advanced skills. High-quality coaching, facilities and funding empower student-athletes to succeed as individuals and team members. Sweet Briar College is a member of the Old Dominion Athletic Conference and NCAA Division III, sponsoring varsity sports for women in cross-country, field hockey, golf, lacrosse, soccer, swimming, tennis and equestrian.
Sweet Briar’s 3,250-acre campus provides a superb natural setting for jogging, hiking, biking, swimming and many other sports and outdoor activities. The Fitness and Athletics Center includes an elevated track and basketball, tennis, badminton, racquetball, squash and volleyball courts in the Upchurch Field House. Williams Gymnasium houses weight-training equipment, a cardio-fitness center, a fencing and aerobics room and Prothro Natatorium, a 25-meter pool. Located on campus are fields for hockey, lacrosse, softball and soccer, as well as six competition tennis courts. Recreational, fitness and student club opportunities include softball, basketball, volleyball, touch football, fencing, spinning, aerobics and other sports.
At Sweet Briar, students ride and compete at all levels. By teaching riding skills and theory, our instructors foster the kind of partnership between rider and mount that leads to lifelong enjoyment and a deep respect for horses. Our program includes different focus areas: competitions, recreation, training/schooling horses and field riding.
The Harriet Howell Rogers Riding Center, one of the nation’s best college riding facilities, features a 120- by 300-foot indoor arena with a heated viewing area and sound system, an outdoor lighted show ring with a sprinkler system, two additional outdoor rings, modern show-jumping equipment and extensive trails.
Sweet Briar Outdoor Program
The Sweet Briar Outdoor Program provides outdoor recreational activities and adventures that foster personal growth, leadership and environmental responsibility. Popular activities include backpacking, hiking, rock climbing, caving, whitewater rafting, kayaking, skiing, snowboarding and a variety of other activities. These adventures are available to all students and are either free or discounted. Many of the opportunities are in collaboration with local colleges.
Students who are drawn to the outdoors are given the opportunity to become trip leaders, apprentices and/or instructors. A rigorous and comprehensive training program is available.