Student-athletes teach workouts virtually

By Mark Lizano, May 4, 2021

CPP’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee recently hosted virtual classes in earlier this semester for Ybarra Middle School students in Walnut, California, focused on various workouts and stretches.

The classes took place during what would normally be physical education class for the middle school students. Three 90-minute classes were taught each day over the span of four days. At the forefront of this community outreach project was sophomore women’s track and field distance runner, Emma Hoferer. Her inspiration for the idea came from CPP SAAC’s visit to Ramona Middle School in La Verne, California, last year to teach physical education.

She proposed the idea of teaching middle school students about physical education during the 2020 fall semester and the plan was finally put in motion in February. She reached out to a friend of hers, a principal at Ybarra Middle School. Hoferer, who is also the committee treasurer, explained how taking the lead on this project made her feel.

“It felt really good to do it. One of the biggest things I loved about SAAC was SAAC’S mission is to help connect the student-athletes together, but the second half of that mission is community outreach,” said Hoferer. “I want to be a teacher; being a part of that energy was amazing.”

The 2020 Cal Poly Pomona Track and Field team. (Courtesy of CPP Athletics Department)

Once Ybarra Middle School confirmed its participation in the event, the committee reached out to CPP Strength and Conditioning Coach Chase Sanders. Sanders constructed an entire workout plan for SAAC to teach middle school students. Nine committee members in total helped in teaching the students, the majority of which came from men’s and women’s track and field and soccer teams.

Ayana Fields, junior sprinter and SAAC secretary, shared how the overall experience with the young students shifted her potential career choice going forward as a kinesiology student.

“I was mostly thinking about a career in physical therapy; I’m still kind of debating on whether I really want to go into that role,” said Fields “I’ve also been looking at physical education teaching because after that experience it really enlightened me on what I want to do in the future.”

The workouts consisted of static warmups and dynamic warmups followed by a rigorous workout which varied depending on the day.

For SAAC vice president and junior hurdler Ryan Fields, the event presented an opportunity to do something physical again. Staying motivated through the competition hiatus has been tough for Fields.

“Compared to Division I athletes and seeing how they got to come back, and they are already competing and how we’re just watching them run, watching them play basketball, watching

them do all these sports while we just sit around. We can’t get back into the same sport that we love just as much as them,” said Fields. “It really hurts to see and it’s really hard to stay motivated to work out during COVID.”

Fields relished the opportunity to work with children and help with the event. After missing last year’s event he made it a point to attend this year’s community service project.

“We were like mentors, helping out the kids,” said Fields. “They’re in the same boat as us; they can’t really go out and talk to people. Having these fun sessions with these kids and seeing their smiling faces; it was a lot of fun.”

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