Newport Mill Middle School’s new fitness center was unveiled on Tuesday, October 10. Students now have access to thirty machines that target cardio, strength, and flexibility workouts, a large upgrade from the school’s previous ten. The freshly painted room features monkey bars and a climbing wall in blue, their school color, and orange, reminiscent of their tiger mascot.
The National Foundation for Governor’s Fitness Council funded the Newport Mill fitness center through their $100,000 “DON’T QUIT! Fitness Center” program. Two other schools in Maryland also received this award for their innovative methods in promoting adolescent health: Buck Lodge Middle School in Adelphi and Vanguard Middle School in Baltimore.
Chaired by fitness entrepreneur Jake Steinfield, the Foundation has brought fitness centers to 20 other states. Steinfield, once a stuttering, overweight teen, was able to find confidence through exercise and begin to help other students achieve the same goal.
“When you have confidence and self-esteem, you can do anything with your life,” Steinfield said. He believes that self-confidence will deter children from engaging in risky behaviors, such as joining gangs or doing drugs.
Both Steinfield and Gov. Larry Hogan attended the ribbon-cutting rally. A school-wide pep rally featured student cheerleaders and musicians.
Hogan and several other state officials applauded the Fitness Councils’ collaboration with other private companies. Their collaboration with companies including Nike, Coca-Cola, Amerigroup Foundation, and Wheels up helped fund the fitness centers, encouraging the growth and health of schools and communities. For instance, TuffStuff Fitness provided the equipment for Newport’s new fitness center.
Hogan hopes the fitness center will encourage healthy choices in the next generation.“If you’re physically active and you’re healthy, then you’re more likely to be engaged and you’re going to do better in the classroom, ” Hogan said,“Education is and always will be our top priority, no matter what neighborhood.”
Article by MoCo Student staff writer Alice Zhu of Richard Montgomery High School