Community Involvement Programs underway at city schools

Published 8:42 am Thursday, October 15, 2015

Star Photo/Rebekah Price Fitness Coach Scott Abel, Community Involvement Coordinator Amber Abel and Swim Coach Bonnie Grindstaff are excited to offer the community affordable fitness activities.

Star Photo/Rebekah Price Fitness Coach Scott Abel, Community Involvement Coordinator Amber Abel and Swim Coach Bonnie Grindstaff are excited to offer the community affordable fitness activities.

This week marks the beginning of new, affordable fitness opportunities for the whole community.
In August, the Elizabethton City Schools board approved the addition of body fitness classes, yoga classes and a youth swim club to the existing community involvement program, which for years has offered $4 water aerobics classes.
On Monday, the Typhoons Swim Club met for the first time at the Elizabethton High School pool.
In the past, parents have organized the club during the summer, but this only allows them one quarter of the year to make progress and enjoy the physical benefits of swimming. Now they will be able to participate year round, three times weekly to improve fitness and to learn about goal setting.
Sixteen kids from kindergarten to seventh grade attended the first class and swim coach Bonnie Grindstaff said they really enjoyed it.
“I am really excited about this because it’s new to the area,” she said. “Elizabethton is way overdue for something like this. Swimming is a highly demanding physical activity that gives kids a social and athletic niche where they can belong.
Grindstaff, an inclusion math teacher at EHS, has a background in high school swimming and was a springboard diver as well. She believes it may inspire a lifelong passion for swimming.
Community Involvement Coordinator Amber Abel said this could also provide younger athletes the opportunity to build skills to prepare them to join the high school team.
Grindstaff said the club goals are to help swimmers define, set and achieve personal swimming goals, as well as teaching them how to respect, encourage and celebrate the successes of their teammates.
“Our club boasts swimmers of all levels from beginners to the very experienced,” she said. “We pride ourselves on inclusiveness.”
She said many kids that participate have no swimming experience, so this is an opportunity for them to learn appropriate strokes, breathing techniques and other skills. She hopes that by summer they will be able to attend local swim meets.
Classes will take place from 5-7 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
Registration is open to all youth in the community and costs $150 per quarter. The next quarter will begin in January.
Applicants must be school-aged and must be able to swim the length of the pool unassisted. Those interested may apply at the main offices of Elizabethton elementary schools, at T.A. Dugger Junior High or from Ms. Abel at EHS. For more information on the swim club, contact Grindstaff at 423-292-2929.
The physical fitness class also began Monday at West Side Elementary School under the instruction of Scott Abel.
The classes will meet three times weekly and will feature 45 minutes of cardio exercises and light weight lifting. The routines will focus on the upper and lower body as well as building core strength.
“This is a great opportunity for year-round conditioning.
Participants may also receive private consultation before and after class.
The Monday class will be geared towards beginners from 4:15-5:30 p.m. Wednesday will be a trainer’s choice from 5:45-7 p.m. Saturday will be advanced fitness from 10-11:15 a.m.
Scott has been a fitness trainer since 2008 and has taught thousands of classes.
He said people that get adequate exercise are happier, healthier, miss less days at work, and have more positive attitudes and increased self-esteem.
“If everyone did cardio, ate healthy and saw a chiropractor, I think we could save the world,” he said.
Classes cost $5 per session and are open to the community. Elizabethton city schools employees receive a $2 discount.
Classes are held in the West Side cafeteria, and participants may enter from the Burgie Street side at the main office entrance.
For more information, contact Scott at 423-895-2440.
Water aerobics classes will continue on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6-7:30 p.m. as well as some Saturdays from 9-10:30 a.m. with Cindy Gorber. For information on scheduling or classes, call 423-474-0140.
Amber said they are still accepting applications for yoga instructors. Those interested may apply at

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