MOUNT VERNON — Physical fitness and proper conditioning are vital aspects of any athletic program and are becoming more recognized as important factors in the health and well-being of individuals. To that end, many schools make weight rooms and similar facilities available to all students, not just athletes. Some also, when feasible, open those facilities to school district residents as a community service.
Centerburg does not have a weight room like the ones in other local schools. Its athletes and students work out in the wellness center, which is operated as a fitness center by Mohican Sports Medicine. Mohican Sports Medicine carries the liability insurance and also pays the supervisor from membership fees paid by community members.
Community members who have purchased memberships can be in the center from 5:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. when an employee of Mohican Sports Medicine is on duty. Principal Mike Hebenthal said the center is also open to employees of the school district, Centerburg students in grades nine through 12 and athletic teams with their coaches. During the school day, physical education teachers can take their classes to the center and students in high school can obtain a pass to work out during their study hall.
Danville also allows community members to use its weight room. Athletic director Christian Toombs said community members do lift in the weight room when the room is supervised by one of the coaches or the conditioning coordinator. The community members lift at their own risk and are responsible for their own well-being. Danville students do not have keys to the weight room and use it only during their scheduled class or with their athletic team.
Although East Knox athletes have priority in the weight room, former East Knox students, mostly recent graduates and former athletes, do have permission to use the weight room during summer and winter breaks. Superintendent John Marschhausen said they have received training and agreed to adhere to specific rules while in the facility. Marschhausen said the district tries to support and provide services to the community whenever it is feasible, and in this case it is able to help out some graduates without additional cost, scheduling or logistic problems. The keys will be collected from the recent graduates once school resumes.
Marschhausen said that due to some scheduling conflicts, the district does have a couple of lay individuals serving as trainers for current students during the off season.
During the school year, the weight room is open and supervised during certain times by coaches, administrators and teachers who volunteer to do so. Coaches and teachers have keys and unlimited access, as well as the responsibility to provide supervision when they are in the weight room and using the space. During the school year, the weight room is open after school, Monday through Thursday, from 2:30 to 4 p.m. and staffed by volunteers.
Fredericktown’s weight room is open to student-athletes and physical education classes. Students do not have keys and they only use the room under the supervision of a coach. The district is in the process of working out details with Knox Community Hospital to provide a wellness program in Fredericktown. Retired Superintendent Dan Humphrey said the equipment used would be in a separate room from the weight room, and would be staffed by KCH personnel.
The wellness program would have limited hours, be open to anyone regardless of age and would be fee based. The fee will be split between KCH and the school. Humphrey said the equipment would also be available for student use under the supervision of a coach or physical education teacher at times when the hospital is not using the facilities.