Bishop Guilfoyle Catholic High School students' may stay healthy well into their adult life, thanks to alumni donations that purchased health and wellness services for the school.
The school's donor-funded $10,000 contract with CORE Performance Training of Altoona will run through the 2011-12 school year.
Basketball and soccer player Maria Ruggery, 14, who trains during the summer in the school weight room, said her parents had paid for her to participate in similar programs at Altoona's Earn Respect Athletics center.
Mirror photo by Russ O’Reilly
Maria Ruggery, 14, jumps on a box to increase her vertical jump. Ruggery is one of 45 students who participate in Bishop Guilfoyle Catholic High School’s fitness program.
"It's good that I can have the same training for free in the school weight room," Ruggery said.
School spokeswoman Amanda Walker said the program is
intended to keep the school competitive, too.
"Budget cuts in education for public schools have not affected us, so we are trying to offer services that some districts may have been forced to cut," Walker said.
Bishop Guilfoyle is the only school that contracted with CORE, said trainer Mike Seidel. He has trained 45 students at the school since the contract started in January.
"We are teaching them fitness exercises and techniques that can benefit them later in their adult life," said Seidel. "The program is not just about how much a student can lift, or how high they can jump - those abilities will increase. But it is more important to me that students increase coordination for tasks as simple as bending to pick a heavy box from the ground."
Seidel said injuries can be prevented in adulthood if children learn practical flexibility and body-control techniques.
CORE Performance's schedule will change to after-school hours on Aug. 30 after school begins.
Walker said she intends to seek grants to spot private benefactors that will cover the cost of next year's contract.
"If no grants are available to continue our contract with CORE, then we will find a means to do it," Walker said. "We believe it's important to the students enrolled here and their parents."
Mirror Staff Writer Russ O'Reilly is at 946-7435.