School Stays in Shape

By: Joshua Sampson, Staff Writer
jsampson@boynegazette.com
(231) 222-2119

A recent donation to Boyne City High School has made the students and faculty ready to get in shape. The Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians recently donated just over $21,000 as a part of the 2 percent contribution they are required to allocate to local units of government each year.  Last year, a donation of a lesser sum was given to assist the Boyne City High School’s gym area.  “We had received a donation before,” said David Hills, social studies and physical education teacher at Boyne City High School. “They had an application process, and they were generous enough to grant us money this year.”[private]

Currently, plans for the money include making changes to the high school facility and creating a similar workout facility in the middle school.  The improved facilities will allow the school to focus on programs that may not be as developed as they could be.  “We have a program called ‘Better, Faster, and Stronger,’ which is a training program we use to basically develop strength in your core,” Hills said. “It has been very successful at the high school, and it’s been a popular program.”

While there are many programs to aid older students, Hills said he would like to see the new strength training program, dubbed the “Readiness Program” focus on grades seven and eight.

“The ‘Readiness Program’ is designed for younger students and we are going to integrate it into the middle school program,” he said.  The current fitness center in the high school has two areas for students.  There is an area that focuses on plate-loaded machines, and it is primarily for strength maintenance. The other area is for core development and incorporates dynamic lifts.  “There are typically two programs that use it the entire term,” Hills said. “After school is generally used for (in-season) and out-of-season sport training.”

The high school facility is equipped with Icarin machines, which were purchased last year; the middle school facility has Pro-Elite equipment that is made up of racks and benches for weight training.  Trever Kruzel, a 19-year-old Boyne City High School graduate of 2009, said he still uses the facility  often.  “I’m in there about three to four times a week,” he said. “I grew up having that weight room there.”  Kruzel, who uses the gym to stay in shape for his collegiate athletics, said the school’s workout facility provides an economical alternative for those who don’t use private gyms.

“I couldn’t afford that,” he said. “It’s hard enough to work-out, and then to actually pay for (a gym membership) on top of that would be hard.”  Kruzel said he has become a better athlete by attending weight rooms, and that weight training has helped him jump higher and lift more.  “If you watch football back in the ’70s, you’ll see the athletes were small, but they’re much larger now because of weight training,” he said. “It helps kids get to the next level.”

Hills said, on a daily basis, the exercise facility sees anywhere between 60 to 100 kids.  It is important, he added, to see the effect exercising has on a child, and he points to the facility as a way a student can learn important skills.

“The most useful thing is that kids learn about life-long fitness,” Hills said. “They can use it throughout their life to maintain personal fitness.”

For now the facility is limited to student access. But, Hills said, they may be looking to allow the general public to use the gym in the future.  While these talks are currently tentative, students can still get a healthy dose of physical fitness from the fitness center during normal school hours.[/private]

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