SHERIDAN — On Friday, students at Sheridan High School participated in National Physical Education and Sport Week by walking a mile.
“As a state, Wyoming wanted to do this initiative, Move Wyoming, and try to get every kid in Wyoming doing some kind of activity or movement during the week,” SHS physical education teacher Corey Hamrick explained. “I think a lot of schools would like to do something like this but we are lucky that our high school administration supports us and allows us to do it. We’re going to do a walk and one of our elementary teachers came up with the idea of trying to ‘walk across the country.’”
Sheridan County School District 2 has 3,259 students. With each student walking one mile during the week, the students essentially covered the distance from San Diego, Calif., to Portland, Maine.
SHS students heard a short presentation from Hamrick who noted that just one in three kids is active every day. He also listed the many benefits of physical exercise including increased concentration and focus, improved attendance and behavior at school, better immune strength and overall improvement in self-confidence and well-being.
Afterward, they headed to the track to complete four laps. Students and faculty participated and most of the students completed more than the required four laps during the 35-minute session.
Many students said they already are quite active, but enjoyed the chance to get outside and walk with friends.
“It is a way to relieve stress,” freshman Mariah Geertz said. “You know you are doing something beneficial for yourself. You don’t feel guilty about doing it instead of doing something else.”
Geertz said she and most of her friends are active through team sports such as soccer and volleyball.
“Our freshman class is really active,” Susie Wold said. “I feel less tired and have more energy (when exercising).”
“And less grumpy!” Geertz added.
Other students said while they are not active in school sports, they do participate in physical activity outside of school.
“I usually skateboard all the time, so I get quite a bit of activity,” freshman Kade Blakeman said. “With sports you have to do certain things, but I like the freedom of skating. You choose what you want to do. I just feel better and a little bit stronger.”
“Generally we have over half our student body sign up for some activity, whether it is weight training, personal fitness, individual or team sports, so our students are pretty active,” SHS Principal Dirlene Wheeler said. “Out of our 880 kids, over 500 are in a sport or an activity this year. Our goal is 100 percent. We know if a kid participates in one club or organization their chances of graduation from high school goes way up. We are just trying to not just create kids that are academically ready, but also who have healthy lifestyles.”