A sense of well-being, bragging rights, better health, a good grade… all of these motivated grade-level leaders in the EMS COVID-19 Spring PE Olympics the last six weeks at Eastern Mennonite School during the COVID-19 shut down. Each week, PE students grades six to 10 — as well as some faculty and staff — took part in the challenge as promoted by PE teachers Jennifer Young, Chad Seibert and Zach Sauder, who introduced the program with this video.
“It was a fun way for us to connect with students and it kept us all active,” said Jennifer Young. “Participation was great, including faculty and staff.”
Each week, special guests demonstrated two fitness activities for the week’s challenge. Bonus interviews with area coaches, players and individuals associated with physical fitness and wellness were also part of the program.
Week 1, April 20-24: knee push-ups and sit-ups. Zach Sauder interviewed Justin King, high school principal, and Maria Archer, K-8 principal.
Week 2, April 27-May 1: walking, hiking and running challenge. Chad Seibert interviewed Nora White, assistant women’s lacrosse coach at James Madison University.
Week 3, May 4-8: push up shoulder taps and lunges challenge. Jennifer Young interviewed Bethany Schultz ’18, volleyball player at Eastern Mennonite University, and Bryanna Stutzman ’18, soccer player at Lancaster Bible College.
Week 4, May 11-15: soccer jumps and jumping jacks challenge. Zach Sauder interviewed Ryan Eshleman-Robles ’09, boys varsity soccer coach and Andrew Gascho, athletic director and girls varsity soccer coach
Week 5, May 18-22: Chad Seibert interviewed Mike Martin, owner/operator of Next Level Athletic Development center in Harrisonburg. Martin talked about strength training, how to tailor things to be sport specific, the role diet plays, and how to gain weight for sports. He answers, “Is it good to be sore after a workout?”
“Whether you’re trying to make your middle school or high school team, play sports in college or beyond or just someone who wants to stay active to maintain your own physical and emotional well being, this video has some great information for you!” encouraged teacher Jennifer Young.
The two activities: regular push-ups and crunches. The instructions and advice: Push-ups should be done on your toes, making sure your arms bend down to 90 degrees each time. When doing crunches, make sure your shoulder blades come all the way off the floor (so ½ your back is up off the floor each time) and then all the way back down in between each crunch.
Week 6, May 25-29: bicycle sit-ups, squats and dips. Jennifer Young interviewed EMHS alumni athletes who play a sport in college: Brett Bechler ’18 (basketball at Lancaster Bible College), Chad Vrolijk ’19 (soccer at Messiah College), and Zach Bauman ’19 (soccer at Goshen College).
Zach Sauder, PE teacher, interviewed Tom Mitch, who was a four-year starting soccer player at Duke University, winning the 1986 NCAA DI National Championship. Tom currently serves as the Grassroots, Recreation and Challenge Coordinator for Shenandoah Valley United. He is husband to science teacher Sarah Mitch, and father to EMES students.
Chad Seibert interviewed Mike Houston, former James Madison University football coach who currently serves as head coach at East Carolina University.
Jennifer Young interviewed Sarah Mathews, head women’s basketball coach at Bridgewater College.