What does the NFL have in common with Valley Central High
Their in-house gyms have the same equipment thanks to an
effort spearheaded by the Valley Central Athletic Booster Club.
On Friday, Dec. 11, a group of excited students gathered
upstairs from the high school’s weight room to await the official unveiling of
the new equipment in the weight room. Many of the students present had worked
over the past few weeks clearing out the old equipment and were anxious to see
“I’m hoping to see a new and improved weight room,” student
Michael Hoppe said, as he waited for the door to open. “It was getting pretty old and all the
equipment was pretty used up, so I’m really looking forward to it.”
Although the school has received donated fitness machines
over the years, it had not purchased its own equipment in over 40 years. Calling
the upgrade “a long time coming,” Athletic Director Mike Bellarosa passed
around a newspaper clipping from the last time the weight room was updated. The
students in the photo are wearing short gym shorts and calf-length striped
socks. The year is 1973.
When the doors were opened, the room echoed with a chorus of
astonished “whoas” and “wows” as the students streamed in and saw the equipment
for the first time. One student called the new equipment “a Christmas miracle.”
The upgrade included new cardiovascular and weight-training
machines with the Valley Central logo crisply emblazoned on the wood floor. The
booster club donated a flat screen television and sound system.
“When I walked in and saw everything, I was amazed,” student
Joe Fiorillo said. “Everything was so nice and new. It’s such an improvement
from what we had before.”
The new equipment is part of the Hammer Strength line from
Life Fitness, which is used by NFL athletes for strength conditioning.
“It’s absolutely the most sturdy and safe equipment out
there,” Arthur Speck, a consultant with G & G Fitness, a company based in
Williamsville, New York, that specializes in fitness equipment and who sold the
equipment to the school.
Students use the weight room to learn the basic fundamentals
of strength and fitness. It is used during each of the school’s nine periods
for physical education classes and is also used by the school’s athletic teams
for training purposes.
“We’re really excited about the upgrade because the new
equipment is going to be a tremendous benefit for the students who use this
room,” Mr. Bellarosa said.