By Linda Kor
Students of the Holbrook School District celebrated at the ribbon cutting for the new $100,000 Don’t Quit! Fitness Center at Hulet Elementary School. The celebration was held Oct. 26 at the George Gardner Performing Arts Center.
The district applied for the grant to create the fitness center and added a video, becoming one of three schools in the state to be awarded the funding.
Superintendent Robbie Koerperich noted after receiving notification of the award, “I think we stood out because of our Healthy Holbrook philosophy of developing personal, academic and physical well being. This isn’t something we try to sell, it’s who we are and I think they saw this when they made their decision.”
Attending the ribbon cutting event were school board officials, city representatives, Senator Sylvia Allen, and FitTV and of Body by Jake founder Jake Steinfeld, who serves as chairman of the National Foundation for Governors’ Fitness Councils.
In addressing the crowd of students, teachers and family members, Steinfeld stated, “I’ve been doing this since 2006 and I have to say we have saved the best for last. You guys are amazing, Roadrunners, you are amazing!”
Steinfeld related how exercising changed his life by building his confidence and self-esteem. “When you have confidence, when you have self-esteem, you can accomplish anything you want in this life. You’ll walk into that fitness center and you’ll do one repetition, you’ll try one exercise and you’ll say to yourself, ‘Oh my goodness, I can actually do this.’ Then one repetition will lead to two and then three and four and five, and you know what’s going to start happening? You’ll begin to stand a little straighter, you’ll look in that mirror and feel good about who you are.
“When you’re healthy, you’re stronger, you’re not home sick, you’re less fidgety, if you’re less fidgety, you’re more focused, if you’re more focused, you do better on your tests, you do better on tests and your teachers are proud of you, your parents are proud of you, and you can look in the mirror and be proud of who you are,” he said.
Steinfeld went on to say that kids who exercise are less likely to smoke a cigarette, less likely to do drugs and less likely to join a gang, “because you’re in control of your own destiny.”
The fitness room will be opened for use at the schools next week and has been outfitted with fitness equipment, a jungle gym and exercise bikes that require no electricity. The school will also incorporate Wii fitness games and Zumba as part of its physical exercise curriculum.
Dr. Koerperich noted that HJHS students would also be able to walk to Hulet to use the room, which he estimated would hold 30 students.
The Don’t Quit! Fitness Centers are financed through public and private partnerships with companies like The Coca-Cola Company, The CareMore Foundation and Nike, and do not rely on taxpayer dollars or state funding. Additionally, TuffStuff Fitness International provides all of the fitness equipment.