PE co-curriculars go online


Richie Boxer/Tower

Senior Max Miller lifts weights during his PE co-curricular after school. Virtual students only have a choice of yoga or PE to fulfill their athletic requirement

George Chang, Photo Editor

For students bringing the gym to their bedroom this fall, the Athletic Department has continued to offer three options: sports teams, Athletic Option and Physical Education (PE) Co-Curricular. For many of these students, PE Co-Curricular is their only option for the Fall season. But even with around 150 students remaining virtual, the options for PE Co-Curriculars have dwindled down to two options: fitness and yoga. 

Athletic Director Logan Condon, along with various athletic instructors designed different sets of activities for the sessions. One instructor, soccer and fitness coach Sebastian Germain, said, “Our objectives were focused on how we can get students to fully engage with different parts of their bodies. The other thing was it had to be something all students are able to do, no matter what their setting and situation was.” 

Condon said, “We want to give all students an opportunity to work out by offering classes in the mornings, afternoons and evenings.”

Seeking to get their workout in before school, some students in the New York area, like Junior Caleb Jakes, wake up early to get their workout in. Jakes wakes up before 7 a.m. to get ready for his 7 to 8 a.m. workout session. “In the beginning, it was a struggle because I’m getting up super early and with all the exercises the trainer had us do, it was a lot,” he said.

When the Athletic Department informed students that PE requirements would still be instituted this fall, many students were surprised, like Senior Zhiyan Wang, who is currently in Shanghai, China.“It’s weird because it’s very different from what we did in school. But I do appreciate [the school’s] effort, and I don’t think there’s a better way to do it, except doing it online” 

However, though many were unhappy with the decision, Condon reiterated the importance of PE, even given the unique situation.

“Being an institution in the state of New York, it is mandated that all of our students have physical education,” he said.

Although Jakes had doubts about the virtual fitness at first, he said he was still open to participating even in a hypothetical situation where PE Co-Curriculars are not mandatory.

 “Usually [the workout] gives me more energy throughout the day,” Jakes said.

Wang added, “It makes me more energetic throughout the day because workouts give me a fresher mind.” 

Wang noted that there is a gym near his apartment, so if the PE Co-Curricular was not mandatory, he would prefer to go use his own gym. “I think for students that going to a gym isn’t available, [this Co-Curricular] would be a good option.”

Condon responded to Wang’s concern.

 “We understand the challenges that all of our students are facing, so we’ve loosened the Independent Athletic Option to allow for some students to work out on their own,” he said. 

Students can now send their individual workout logs to the athletic department every week to have the trainers supervise over them as the PE credit. For the athletic department, even though different circumstances require different methods, one thing hopes to remain the same among all – staying active means staying healthy.