BUCKHANNON – Local fitness center Move 304 has been keeping local transitional school students fit and active this year, and they’re looking to keep those kids moving all summer long by offering scholarships.
Lukas Samargo, head coach at Move 304, said the Upshur County Board of Education provided funding so students in the transitional school could earn a physical education credit during the school year.
“They come once a week,” Samargo said. “We have a morning session or an afternoon session on Thursdays, and they are able to come in and count this as their PE credit for school as well as get out and use this as an opportunity to relieve mental, emotional or physical stresses in their lives.”
The sessions are one hour long and include a variety of exercises.
“We do a warmup and then we strengthen, so we might do some form of barbell lifting, we’ve worked on handstands and handstand push-ups, rope climb, pull-ups, all that kind of stuff,” Samargo said. “We usually have a workout that lasts anywhere from 15-to-20 minutes to follow the strength portion. During that time, they take what they learned in strengthening and put it into action during the workout.”
The program started in January and the coaches enjoyed having the students each week.
“I’ve absolutely loved it,” Samargo said. “I’ve been coaching here for three years, and I love coaching the adults, but I really like pushing the kids. The kids come in every day willing to work, eager to please. They bring an intensity to the gym that is hard to find, so I’ve really enjoyed this, because they’ve really helped me find that spark back into coaching.”
Move 304 Is looking to offer summer scholarships to the participating students so they don’t lose the progress they made during the school year.
“The idea is they have someone to sponsor them to utilize our gym, to stay with this program rather than taking the summer off and having to pick back up in the fall,” Samargo said. “These kids have made great progress by doing all of this. Weight loss, strength, mental health, enhancement, anything along those lines — they’ve all seen some form of benefit, so we’d hate for them to lose progress just because school ended.”
Five students have applied for the summer sessions, committing to attend the gym three times a week during the sponsorship period. Jena Fealy, co-owner of Move 304, said the transitional students approached the Board of Education to start the program and they want to see them continue to use their gym.
“We had five applicants,” Fealy said. “It’d be $390 for the three months to use the gym, our coaches and things of that nature. It’s the same membership as anybody who comes in here. We did give them a stipulation of committing to at least three days a week, but obviously, we will factor in sickness and stuff like that.”