CrossFit PE: The Death of the PE Class

October 26, 2016 by
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THE STORY

In an effort to defy the increasing trend of obesity and a sedentary lifestyle within our society, Las Vegas’ Clark County School District have introduced CrossFit into their P.E. classes.

HOW’D THIS ALL COME ABOUT?

It started back in 2011, when CrossFit Coach Michelle Morrison asked the Rancho High School administration if she could coach a CrossFit Class one class period in the weight room while the regular weight teacher was on break. Now, 5 years later, they run seven CrossFit classes every day, plus an after school club. In total, about 250 students each day are CrossFitting on the “playground.”

WHAT TO SAY TO YOUR FRIEND WHO THINKS CROSSFIT IS DANGEROUS, ESPECIALLY FOR KIDS…

Keep your cool.

Through grant funds, almost 77 coaches and teachers at Clark County have worked to receive their CrossFit Level 1 Certification, because the CrossFit training standard is high and a safe environment is a non negotiable.

SO HOW’S IT GOING SO FAR?

Schools have seen such a positive result – not just from the kids but also parents and teachers.

Shawna Jones, the Physical Education teacher at Palo Verde, is a big believer in CrossFit at schools; “This class can save your life…The attendance has risen…grades have improved… and if you ask a kid, ‘Why are you at school?’ They’re going to tell you CrossFit.”

CrossFit helps kids learn to move…confidently. “The biggest change I see in the students is confidence. Most of the students walk into class with a world of unknown. They are challenged to move in ways they have never experienced before. When they hit a movement with success, it increases their confidence to try something else…I really believe this confidence rolls over to their other classes and responsibilities outside of school,” shares Coach Michelle.

Yes, they’re gaining strength and are excited to learn new movements, but CrossFit is about more than just weights. And these students are grasping that. “CrossFit is changing them all around…physically, mentally, socially. I don’t think you can find just one part of CrossFit that impacts the students. It’s a package deal,” tells Coach Michelle.

WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE?

We’re seeing it in action. Clark County School District Coordinator, Shannon La Neve, summarizes the impact she observes — as kids experience the CrossFit culture in school, they begin to bring it home and inspire their families to get active. And if we have active families, we begin to see healthier lifestyles. And with healthier lifestyles, we begin to see healthier communities. And with healthier communities, we begin to see less chronic disease.

Plus, Clark County hopes to incorporate CrossFit in more than 50 schools district-wide by 2017.

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