GH, SL schools to square off in fitness challenge

The Spring Lake and Grand Haven rivalry in high school sports has produced several spirited contests throughout the years. Now, the faculty and staff at each school will have an opportunity to embark on their own fierce competition.
Nate Thompson
Nov 16, 2012

In an effort to educate and encourage fitness at each school district, the Spring Lake Fitness and Aquatic Center developed a 10-week competition called the Cross River Fitness Challenge. Each school will develop teams of at least 12-members and will be awarded points based on their level of activity.

“Spring Lake has done this within its own school district for about the last four years,” said Jason Epplett, the director of the Spring Lake Fitness and Aquatic Center. “When we sat down and started brainstorming ideas for this year, we said ‘Let’s have Spring Lake challenge Grand Haven schools.’ We presented the idea to Grand Haven and they were all on board.

“We feel like this is going to be a fun event that brings out the competitiveness at both schools. There’s that cross-river rivalry that’s been going on for years, so we hope that will create a huge push for getting involved.”

Each faculty or staff member is awarded one point a day for at least 30-minutes of exercise, explained Epplett.

“The competitors will tally their progress each week and turn it over to a team leader. From there, that person will turn it in to the school liaison for the event,” he said.

At the end of the challenge, the team with the highest point average will be awarded a traveling trophy — along with much-coveted bragging rights as part of the fittest school district.

Spring Lake Superintendent Dennis Furton has already laid out the “tale of the tape” for the challenge.

“Spring Lake and Grand Haven. Two proud districts with tremendous staffs,” he said. “Only one can win and claim the title of ‘most fit’. Will it be the Buccaneers, with their superior size, vast resources, and more ‘seasoned’ superintendent? Or, will the Lakers harness their close-knit, small town sensibilities to overcome our neighbors across the river? I can’t wait to find out.”

Aside from daily workouts, team members can also accumulate a point by getting a personal fitness assessment done at the Fitness and Aquatic Center or by Shoreline Sport and Spine; attending a fitness challenge seminar; or attending a healthy community event. Five points are awarded for faculty or staff participating in an indoor triathlon during the challenge (the Muskegon Indoor Tri on Jan. 13, or Spring Lake Indoor Tri on Feb. 10); or participating in the final challenge on April 13, which will consist of a 5K trail race on the grounds of Spring Lake High School.

The competition is slated to begin on Jan. 14, with a Nov. 30 deadline to enter. There is a $10 entry fee, but all proceeds will be distributed to a wellness fund at each school, Epplett said. Additional proceeds will be donated to the health and safety program through the United Way.

When the challenge solely involved Spring Lake, Epplett said they had anywhere from 120-160 employees participate. With Grand Haven being a larger district, that number could reach 300 to 600.

“The Cross River Challenge is a great opportunity to motivate staff to improve their health in a fun, competitive way,” said Grand Haven Superintendent Keith Konarska. “Go Bucs!”

For faculty or staff looking to register or for more information, visit the competition’s website at https://sites.google.com/a/sprin....

 

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