Marion’s lifetime fitness class is in its second year, but already it has become popular with students who want to try sports out of the norm for most gym classes.
Among the activities students have tried so far are biking, team handball, and archery.
Having a class where they can unwind and get some exercise is good for students, particularly seniors, Marion High School student Megan Neufeld said.
“It’s honestly a fun class,” she said. “It’s a break from my other classes because I’ve been taking a lot of college classes.”
The class is fellow senior Colton Boudreaux’s first opportunity to take physical education since he was a freshman.
“I actually wanted to take this class last year but because of how my schedule was, I couldn’t,” he said. “Looking through the yearbook last year, I knew what to expect.”
Boudreaux didn’t name a specific sport as his favorite, but said he liked ones that stayed indoors, like basketball and team handball.
Biking and tennis have been Neufeld’s favorites. While they are two of the class’s more widely known choices, they have Neufeld taking a long-term view to staying active.
“It’s definitely changed my point of view for things,” she said. “With tennis, I had no idea how to play it. Now with this class, it seems like an activity I know how to play and probably want to play later in life.”
Athletic director Jason Hett, who teaches the class, had the idea after teaching the same class at Central Christian. He also remembered enjoying a similar class when he was a Marion student.
“It’s just activities they can do their whole lifetime,” he said. “Not everybody can do five-on-five basketball at any age.”
Hett tries to do activities outside during nice weather, makes sure students learn the rules of each sport, and they get a history lesson while they’re at it.
“They enjoy just the different variety of activities we get to do, and a lot of it is off-campus,” he said.
With just 10 to 15 students depending on the day, the class is adaptable to a variety of activities, and students aren’t jockeying to play, Neufeld said.
“Everybody gets to participate,” she said. “It’d not just a couple people playing.”
Opening the class up to more students in the future might have advantages, too, by getting more underclassmen involved, Boudreaux said.