For some students at NS, lifting weights is not just a way to stay healthy and fit. It has become their passion.
“Kids are becoming passionate about it and working to train and work hard,” said weights instructor Matt Roberts.
The weight room is an asset for students that is used very frequently. Several sports teams such as the basketball, volleyball, football, and soccer teams actively use the weight room and equipment.
“Every day I would guess that we have close to two hundred plus students going through the weight room,” said teacher Rhett Bird.
Not all of the students that participate in the weight program are athletes that are part of a team though.
“Right now, I would say there are as many athletes lifting as non-athletes. I would say that it’s fifty-fifty,” Roberts said.
With regular everyday use, the equipment can become old, worn, or break and is replaced as needed. Newer weight equipment has also been added in recent years.
Pieces of the weight room were acquired through the school, football program, Pleasant Creek high school, and donations.
Junior Ioane, a former student at NS, donated money that bought the old weight building and equipment. Ioane first learned to play football and lift weights at NS. He went on to play professional football for the Oakland Raiders.
The school has since moved the weight room from the building that Ioane donated back to where it was originally above the gym. Ioane doesn’t mind the changes being made as long as it’s in the best interest of the students.
“It doesn’t matter to me what they replace and what they bring in, as long as it benefits the kids. I’m all about the kids improving from one season to another,” Ioane said.
The weight equipment was moved from the building purchased by Ioane to above the gym largely due to safety.
“Where this is not attached to the school, meaning students were going outside of the high school to get there, it was more of a safety and security view,” Bird said.
Additions and donations to the equipment are what make the weight program possible.
“We’re starting to see some upgrades on stuff. We have a long way to go, but little bits at a time,” Roberts said.
By slowly upgrading the weight equipment, students will be able to build and improve. The only obstacle to making more improvements is money.
“If you gave me unlimited [money] I would gut it. I would make this the nicest weight room in the state. That is my preference because this is what I love and am passionate about and want to do,” Roberts said. “I want to give that opportunity to the students. I really feel that my students deserve the best.”
Lifting weights can help students discover parts of themselves, improve their self-image, and gain confidence as well.
“The more I lifted, the more confidence I gained in my abilities, which led to me gaining all-state in both track and football,” Ioane said.
The coaches or advisors, over the students that lift, are the people that are a huge asset and make a big difference.
“I looked up to a lot of my coaches growing up,” Ioane said, “and I was grateful for these guys to have stepped into my life and guided me to where I am at today.”