Fitness course effort moving forward

NEW MANCHESTER – Trisha Enochs believes physical education does not stop at the schoolhouse door.

The Oak Glen High School physical education and health teacher is leading an initiative to build an on-campus outdoor fitness course that will be open to both students and the public.

Enochs’ original idea was for a fitness room in the high school, but Principal Barbara Logue suggested she apply for a grant to outfit a trail with fitness stations and fitness equipment, she said.

Enochs’ vision is for the equipment to be incorporated into the high school’s future 3.1-mile cross-country course.

“People can stop and use these machines while they’re running the course,” she said. “It will be open to the community.”

To raise the necessary money, Enochs formed a Physically Active Lifestyles committee made up of teachers, students, parents, medical professionals and other people in the community. The committee applied for, and received, a Schools on the Move grant from West Virginia on the Move, a non-profit organization based in Charleston.

The $2,000 grant will go a long way toward the purchase of fitness equipment for the course. The group also raised $2,700 at a “Jail ‘n’ Bail” event during this year’s Chester Fourth of July celebration.

“We were completely overwhelmed by the support from community members during the ‘Jail ‘n’ Bail’ fundraiser. Everybody was a good sport,” Enochs said.

The group’s next step is to host a second-annual 5K race fundraiser at the Fall River Fest in New Cumberland, scheduled for Sept. 28-29. The race will start at 9 a.m. Sept. 28 and will start from the gazebo at George Hines Park.

Enochs hopes that the River Fest 5K, plus the money raised at last year’s race, will take the group to its fundraising goal of $5,900 – the cost of 10 pieces of equipment for the fitness course.

Race registration is $15 per person prior to Sept. 24 and $18 on the day of the race. Race-day registration is from 8 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. There are multiple age groups for children and adults, and race divisions are “run,” “walk” and “stroller.”

Registration deadline for a guaranteed T-shirt is Sept. 19, although registration will remain open at the following locations through Sept. 24: New Cumberland Municipal Building, Hancock County Schools, Trinity United Methodist Church and Chaney’s Service Station.

Awards and door prizes will be awarded after the event.

Enochs said she hopes the fitness equipment will be ready for installation sometime during the current school year. The course also will be used for student fitness testing, she said.

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