Health and fitness class popularity differs by sport

Sandeep Gingipalli, Staff Writer

Despite sports being a tremendous part of the high school’s culture, the student athlete population is small in comparison to the whole student body. Instead of participating in school sports, many students elect to take a health and fitness class, with each class catering to different interests.

Despite the varying popularities of different health and fitness classes, Tina Bozeman, the head of the health and fitness department, believes that all of the classes achieve their intended goal.

“The goal of these fitness classes is to provide students with a knowledgeable foundation and skill set, which hopefully helps them develop attitudes and behaviors so that they can be physically active for a lifetime,” Bozeman said.

According to Bozeman, there are really no unpopular courses, and if there were an unpopular course it would be removed in favor of a course that students were more interested in. Bozeman said, however, that students tend to favor yoga over classes like tennis.

“The yoga course is so popular because of the nature behind yoga and the need that students have to effectively manage their stress through relaxation. The yoga class has also sold itself through the positive effects it has on students in that course, which convinces many students to return to that class,” Bozeman said. “The yoga classes are also popular because the teachers that teach yoga are very skilled and very passionate about what they teach.”

According to Bozeman, material taught in the health and fitness courses is only effective when the teachers of the class instruct it well and the ability of the teacher influences students’ engagement in the class.

Junior Maisie Kramer believes that part of her interest in African-Latin hip-hop, a very popular class, can be attributed to her teacher.

“My teacher, Ms. Hernandez, has fantastic energy and a great teaching style which really pushes everyone in the class to their absolute limits. However, she doesn’t yell or get mad at students, which makes for a supportive yet challenging class,” Kramer said.

The health and fitness class with the least number of students is Tennis Specialization taught by Health and Fitness teacher Gretchen Lima, who teaches Lifetime Activities. In this class, students learn the basic rules of tennis and typically play matches during the class.

Lima believes that she gets the most engagement from her tennis class compared to other classes.

“Tennis engagement is always good because it’s a specialty and people take the class because they actually want to learn more about tennis whereas with classes such as Lifetime Activities, they just get put into that class which causes less engagement in those classes,” Lima said.

While Tennis Specialization may not have large enrollment, students, including sophomore Nicholas Gray, love it.

“This class is everything I thought it would be and it has been a great experience so far. I’ve played a lot of tennis with my friends in the past which made choosing this class an easy choice,” Gray said.

Ultimately, it is important to Bozeman that each student stays active.

“Regardless of which fitness class the students favor more, all of the fitness classes instill in students the mentality of being physically active so that they have greater chance of living a long and healthy life,” Bozeman said.