By Becky Killian / Managing Editor
Ropes were climbed, hula hoops spun round hips and chins cleared chin-up bars Wednesday at Corbin Intermediate School.
The fitness demonstration by some of the school’s students, a few teachers and one red hound of a mascot was done before an enthusiastic crowd that had gathered for the ribbon cutting on the school’s new Project Fit America outdoor fitness course.
Principal Bill Jones told the crowd the equipment, which includes both indoor and outdoor equipment, was worth about $20,000 and was made possible by a grant written by Baptist Regional Medical Center.
Jones said Lee Richardson, community health services coordinator for the hospital, contacted him about a year ago to say she wanted to apply for the grant. While Jones said he thought it was great, he wasn’t certain the school would win the grant.
“We could not have done this without you,” Jones said to hospital officials who attended the event.
After Corbin Mayor Willard McBurney proclaimed the day “Project Fit America Day,” Corbin Independent Schools Administrative Assistant Darrell Tremaine credited the district’s board for purchasing the ground where the playground now exists.
“Schools are communities,” Tremaine said. “This playground is a community playground.”
Drew Beechum, student council representative, said the equipment is a blessing that will help the students and the community become a more fit community.
Baptist Regional Medical Center President and CEO Larry Gray complimented Beechum for his choice of words in talking about a fit community, telling the students he has grandkids their age and he hopes they have the opportunity to stay fit— in part due to the fact they will someday be taking care of him.
“So I have an investment in keeping you healthy and strong,” Gray said.
Despite the fact he oversees a hospital, Gray said he hopes he only sees those he spoke to at future fun events and that the hospital is proud to be able to contribute to making the community healthier.
“So you are going to lead the way,” Gray said to the students.
After the ribbon was cut, students demonstrated how the equipment is used.
Corbin Intermediate School is now designated as a Kentucky/Project Fit America model school.
Project Fit America is a national nonprofit organization that aims to create “sustainable and innovative physical education programs in schools” as a means to counter this country’s obesity epidemic and the health fallout from poor fitness such as diabetes, heart attack and stroke.