The daily pursuit of superior physical skills through strength and conditioning is a keystone of any premier athletic program. Being an athlete on any of Oak Hill’s teams, including basketball, soccer, tennis, cheer and volleyball, comes with regimens aimed at building flexibility, endurance and coordination. And that’s to be expected.
What might be unexpected is how Oak Hill Academy’s athletic programs have given rise to a fitness culture that encompasses campus constituents well beyond team rosters.
To put it simply, there is a component of our campus ethos that champions consistent hard work and motivates us to pursue physical well-being through a variety of individual and group outlets. We are very proud of what is being cultivated here.
The gym and the Turner weight room, along with the fitness center on the lower level of the girls’ dorm, are integral parts of the social scene on campus. The advanced fitness class, one of the most popular P.E. options we offer, is built upon a strength and conditioning program created by consultant Micah Kurtz, MS, CSCS (and a slew of other professional credentials) and Oak Hill Coach Bryan Meagher. Our athletes and coaches set a tone in our workout spaces that engenders an impressive sense of purpose—one that crosses over to other venues.
The Trail Running Club is a recent addition to our campus culture of fitness. Open to all Oak Hill Academy students, the running club takes advantage of the great terrain and epic views on campus as well as the surrounding Appalachian Mountains and neighboring New River. Aside from great outdoor adventure, the club also offers the opportunity to participate in local 5k events.
Additional club offerings this year let me know that the momentum is real: Hiking, Wrestling, Dance Team, Golf and Badminton are a few of the new clubs about which our students are excited. There are also intramural offerings planned throughout the year. And our long-running Equestrian Program is full of devotees who will testify that horsemanship is a physical workout too!
Students also are inspired by faculty and staff who have become committed to their own fitness goals. Resident Manager Joe Gagne recently completed the Boston Marathon while raising money for the Travis Roy Foundation. Our students had a front-row seat to the kind of dedication marathon preparation takes–and jumped on board to support him. Many of our staff spend their free time in conditioning and strength training alongside our students. Ms. Haas, our technology teacher, has begun spreading the fitness bug by offering power-walking sessions for our girls as she is working toward some lofty personal racing goals herself. Among our most inspirational faculty members is our campus minister, Rev. Turnmire, who demonstrates commitment by his 6 a.m. daily hard workouts. Our librarian, Ms. Bronson, is also in training to accomplish some serious fitness objectives–with Coach Meagher’s help. There are many other examples.
This campus fitness wave is supported by an obvious push to offer healthy eating options in our campus dining hall with our food service partner, Meriwether-Godsey. And our Alumni Campus Store is stocked with nutritious choices for post-workout snacks and refueling between meals. Clearly, our students’ health and well-being is addressed right along with their educational needs, helping shape the whole person.