The ‘Dog Days of Summer’ can sometimes get a little dull and mundane for kids, but one U.P. community has joined up with a local gym to keep kids on the move. Anytime Fitness of Gwinn and the Gwinn High School Sports Boosters Club came together to create a summer workout program to give kids a head start on the upcoming fall sports season.
“We thought that it was a great opportunity to help the community, especially in the off-season going into the fall sports season. It would be a great opportunity to get the kids out and get them moving,” said Ryan Craig, who is the Personal Training Manager at Anytime Fitness.
In all, 31 kids take part in the workouts. Girls in grades 7-12 and middle school boys workout with the trainers twice a week for an hour at a time. Some of the kids feel that they’re already reaping the benefits of the work they’ve put in.
“I feel a whole lot stronger and a whole lot faster,” said Taylor Ahnis, who will be a sophomore at Gwinn this fall. Ahnis plays volleyball for the Modeltowners. “I feel like I can run a lot more and do a lot more than I used to in the beginning of the summer.”
“I think it (the program) is a lot of fun. You get to meet a lot of the girls in the younger grades and you get to build relationships with them,” Ahnis went on to say. “When they get up to your level, it’s easier to play with them and do your sport with them.”
“Instead of other teams who will have to spend the first two weeks conditioning and getting everyone ready to play again, we can work on skills instead of running everyday at practice,” said Anna Cole, who is a sophomore in the Gwinn volleyball program.
Anytime Fitness designed the core of the workouts to concentrate on arguably the most important factor in sports at any level, overall speed.
“Foot quickness, coordination, speed, and agility are a lot of the thing that these kids really haven’t worked on very much,” said Craig.
The trainers keep the kids busy inside and outside, especially in the weight room.
“We work on a lot of strength training which will help us jump better and it works on a lot of arm strength for our hitters,” said Cole.
The summer workout program has two weeks left. Craig would like to continue his involvement with the athletes at Gwinn year round.
“We’re definitely going to try and keep this going,” said Craig. “We want to try and get this into the fall schedules and maybe into the winter schedule to help out the kids in the spring and into the summer too, to keep this going.”