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Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2024
The Observer

Saint Marys encourages student exercise with ‘Belles for Fitness’

After the completion of the Angela Athletic and Wellness Complex, Saint Mary’s has revamped an exercise incentive program titled “Belles for Fitness.”

Athletic trainer and co-coordinator of the wellness program Katie Knisely, who restarted the initiative, said it was originally put on hold during the construction of the new center.

“I’m glad that we were able to restart this program for the students, faculty and staff members to have more camaraderie between each other and encourage exercise on campus,” Knisely said in an email.

According to Knisely, in this session there are 16 teams participating. Each team consists of five to 10 students, faculty or staff members, cultivating a tighter-knit Saint Mary’s community, she added.

“I’ll admit, my chemistry lab professor, Mrs. Houser, had a few chats with us when we were beating her team on the leaderboard for the week, but all talk was lighthearted,” first year Elizabeth Zaczyk said.

Each team is required to have a team captain and only one student-athlete is allowed per team. Zaczyk and her friends formed a team for the fall session and, according to her, after a tough loss to the “Enginerds and Your Moms,” they decided to try again in the spring session.

Her team, “We Showed Up,” consists of ten girls.

“There’s a variety of things that my team is a part of, which makes all of our workouts uniquely different,” Zaczyk said. “From dance, to marching band to cross country, we’ve got it all.”

Teams compete against each other to see who can collect the most points at the end of the session. Points are determined based on the number of minutes teams exercise throughout the week, Knisely said.

“Each member of the team is held accountable for 200 minutes of activity per week,” Knisely said. “However, each person may only claim up to 900 minutes per week to control any overtraining issues.”

Exercise is allowed to be completed in or out of Angela. Each team is responsible for logging their own daily points, and at the end of each week the program director calculates the points for each team.

“I think changing the tracking system from paper to online formatting really helped to increase the number of people and teams to sign-up,” Knisely said. “The fact that teams do not need to track minutes in Angela now is very convenient.”

At the end of each session, one team will be named the winner — claiming bragging rights and a t-shirt, Knisely said.

The current session goes through March 9 and the next one starts on March 10, she said.

“I’m so glad [my friend] got our whole friend group active in this wonderful program, and I can’t wait to see if we win, but even if we don’t we still got our exercise in, so it’s a win-win,” Zaczyk said.