Thursday, March 07, 2002

Fairfield to get fitness equipment




By Sue Kiesewetter
Enquirer Contributor

        FAIRFIELD The Fairfield Schools plan to partner with the National School Fitness Foundation to bring state-of-the-art strengthening and cardiovascular equipment to three schools.

        The equipment is earmarked for the senior high, middle school and freshman school, said Greg Whited, chairman of the physical education department at the freshman school.

        The schools will have a three-year lease, renewable every year, for the equipment. They are then reimbursed the monthly $4,500 lease per school from the foundation within five days. At the end of the lease, the schools pay $1 per building to purchase the equipment.

        In exchange for the reimbursement, the schools agree to provide the foundation with pre-test results and daily readings once the equipment is put into use. Computer technology will record such data as a user's strength level, lean muscle mass, body fat percentage and blood pressure.

        The statistics will be recorded and sent to the foundations for use by such organizations as Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the American Heart Association, said Jerome Gray, representing the foundation.

        None of the students is identified by name. Each user is assigned a number. "We trade information for equipment,” Mr. Gray said.

        In Southwest Ohio, the Mount Healthy Schools have agreed to begin the program at the high school and it is under consideration by Cincinnati Public Schools.

        The Fairfield Board of Education this week approved the project, provided the district's treasurer and legal counsel approved the financial arrangements and legal contracts.

        “This is good, really good,” said Anne Crone, president of the school board. "This will provide fitness skills students can use for the rest of their lives.”

       



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