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Posted: May 19, 2019

Keeping active at Elkford Secondary School

By Andrew Gulyas

Elkford Secondary School students recently took the Elkford Fire Department’s fitness test, as well as the RCMP fitness test; they also worked out in the local gym, and had a boxing class.

This was an amazing month with my PE 10s. This class of wonderful young people showed a true sense of grit, tenacity and resilience.

This month, I wanted to give students some new, lifelong healthy activities within their community; additionally, understand the strong physical demands of local career possibilities. This group of young people grew in strength and abilities as well as showed their willingness to push their limits. This was truly a wonderful month for me as a teacher and I hope for my students.

The month started off with boxing. The Fernie Boxing Club (instructors from the Sparwood location) came to Elkford and students were introduced to the basics of boxing. Very quickly, students learned that boxing is very physically demanding with the initial warm up and then the main event of punching the hand pads. Students learned basic foot work, body positioning, the jab and the right cross. These awesome students were quick to learn the fundamentals and even quicker with their punches.

Following our boxing experience, students ventured down the street to the Elkford Fire Hall. This was a wonderful adventure. Students were given a lecture about the fitness requirements to be a firefighter, an orientation of the fire hall, and then students were allowed to do the firefighter fitness test. Students did everything from pulling water hoses to climbing up the hose tower. This was a fun, physically demanding field trip where students were able to experience the physical demands of being a firefighter.

The month of April’s focus was on physical strength, conditioning and health. When we were not out in the community, students were learning and working on their conditioning in the school gym. The primary goal of working out in the school gym, was to support students in their knowledge of alternatives of healthy living as well as developing their confidence to work out in a traditional gym. As a class, we walked down to Rockhard Fitness, where students were introduced to their local gym outside of school.

As a gym teacher, I understand that Grade 10 can be the last time a student takes PE, my goal was to develop students’ knowledge and confidence to work out in a public gym, which will hopefully extend their knowledge and confidence from high school and into their future healthy lives.

On April 25, the RCMP came to Elkford Secondary, where students learned about the fitness requirements to be an RCMP officer and experienced their physical fitness test.

Students had the added bonus of being allowed to wear Kevlar vests, body armour or a tactical vests and helmet. This was truly a wonderfully climactic finish to this physically demanding month. Students pushed themselves physically, and for most, found their limits. The fitness test required running, jumping over obstacles, climbing over obstructions, flipping heavy tires and carrying weight. This test simulates the physical demands of a police pursuit and apprehension. All students met the time requirements with their protective gear of choice.

Thank you all who participated, gave up their lunch hours, the volunteers, and Rockhard Fitness for allowing us to visit your gym. Great hustle troops, you make me smile when I see you sweat, work hard and give it your all. I smiled a lot this month.

Photos submitted

Andrew Gulyas is a teacher at Elkford Secondary School.

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