DOWNEY - Attempting to advocate and increase physical fitness and muscular strength among youth, the efforts of the Physical Education department at Warren have earned them $100,000 through the Governor's Spotlight Award to go towards a new fitness center.The dedication and ribbon-cutting for the fitness center will take place on Oct. 13, and will be open for use to students and faculty on Oct. 14. The monetary award was used to further expand the already existing two-room facility near Warren's football stadium, half of which was furnished into a cardiovascular fitness center four years ago through the generous donations from Dr. Mary Stauffer. The completed fitness center, with the newly installed cable and stack-weight equipment, will be used daily by all Physical Education departments, including Adapted Physical Education, as well as faculty and staff. The fitness center will have the ability to house approximately 60 students per hour. "We want to get our kids to be active, before or after school, and just make them more physically sound overall," said P.E. coach Dan Latham. With fitness scores across California at a mere 40 percent, the physical health of students has been a concern at both the state and local levels. Therefore, the Governor's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports decided to provide incentive for physical activity and fitness through the Governor's Spotlight Award, the award that Warren has so fortunately received. The application process began when Latham and Christopher Flores heard about the Governor's Spotlight Award and took the initiative to rally the other coaches in the Physical Education department to participate in the efforts of attaining this award. The major requirement to apply for this award involved the participation of students in outside physical activities. Warren's Physical Education department was able to rally a total of 2,342 students, not including those in sports, to sign up for physical activities and complete the Governor's Challenge. Thus, each student that participated was accounted for and recorded on file with the total amount of time that the students had been doing physical activities. The tally was then submitted to the Governor's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports, along with three essays that were an additional requirement of the application. "We didn't think we were going to win this," said Latham. "We thought it was a long shot, but when they told us that we did, everything we put in [the fitness center] was to improve muscular strength and physical health." Although the fitness center will be used mainly for the Physical Education department, other Warren groups and sports will be allowed to utilize the new fitness center as well. "The fitness center is not for open use, however, only for scheduled use," said Latham. If a group or sport wishes to use the fitness center, they can contact the department chair Sandy Porty or Latham to schedule a block of time. Because the fitness center is a specialized room, there must be supervision during its use for instruction and maintenance.
********** Published: January 15, 2010 - Volume 8 - Issue 39