We have donated gym memberships to all Listowel District Secondary School grade 9 students, approximately 200 students this year and we plan to continue the tradition for all grade 9 students every year.
Why, you may ask!
Our personal experiences have taught all of us how important physical activity is, not only to our physical health, but also to our mental health. And, there is plenty of research to support these personal experiences.
Grade 9 students coming into highschool are under a lot of pressure... do you remember being "intiated" or "hazed" by your older siblings and their friends, or maybe by complete strangers? For the most part this is no longer a widely accepted grade 9 ritual, thanks to anti-bullying laws, supporters and peers. However, there's still that pressure to "fit in" to become a hick, a jock, a skid, a skater, or whatever other stereotyped highschool crew is out there and that pressure SUCKS!
That pressure to fit in is intense, even for those who deny it. The pressure to get good grades but not be a teacher's pet, to stand up for yourself but not be a bitch, to "look good" is always there, even when its not explicit, even in the kids you least expect would be subjected to it.
Kurzy's initiative stems from his grade 9 experience as a country boy coming into town and feeling torn between his public school friends as they became jocks, became hicks, became smokers. He knew he didn't want to smoke, he felt he wasn't good enough for the sports teams, and what makes you a hick anyway? With a friend, he came to dynafit, and found something he could excel at, that no one was judging him at, and somewhere to take out his frustrations. He started taking time for himself at the gym on a regular basis and began to lose weight, gain muscle and improve his self image, his confidence and his mind-set. He no longer felt like a "fat mess" and when his best friend and idol was killed in a car accident, he had a healthy way to cope with the loss, that wasn't excessive drinking, smoking, drugs, an eating disorder or depression.
Our smallest hope is to help just 1 kid and our biggest is to help every single one of them to become more confident in themselves, to improve their self-image, to improve their stress management techniques, and to help them be the best that they can be.
Welcome to our dynafit family grade 9's! We couldn't be happier to have you here!