By Charlie Bermant
Peninsula Daily News
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“This is a new concept,” said Jefferson County Parks and Recreation aide supervisor Jessica Winsheimer during a physical education class at Blue Heron Middle School.
“It keeps kids moving and gets them excited about exercising, and gets them involved in activities that anyone can do.”
The program incorporates Tumbl Trak equipment, inflatable gear that is used to support gymnastics, cheerleading and dance.
There is a local connection, as company CEO Doug Davis is a Port Townsend resident and donated $20,000 worth of equipment for use at the Port Townsend Recreation Center.
Smaller equipment contributions will be made to several local schools.
Last week, Tumbl Trak sponsored a two-day training exercise that showed the students how to use the equipment — meant to prime the pump for the continuing program.
Blue Heron PE teacher Richard Glaubman is excited about the program, which he sees as a path to developing better exercise habits.
“Lifetime fitness is the goal,” Glaubman said.
“Everyone can improve no matter where they started, whether they are jocks who are on a team or someone who hasn't exercised very much in the past.”
The new equipment stimulated interest in fitness,” Glaubman said.
“It was a great two days, and I saw some students participate who haven't always been so motivated,” he said.
“Everyone was engaged and was able to work at their own level and in their own comfort zone.”
The donated equipment includes the fitness wheel, a large inflatable circle used for vaulting, launch pads, inclines and a balance beam made of flexible plastic.
All the equipment can be deflated and transported in a small van.
In addition to Blue Heron, two-day workshops are planned for Chimacum, Quilcene and Brinnon schools.
The program includes visiting coaches who take students through the paces and offer them professional advice that would otherwise not be available to them, according to local Tumbl Trak representative Carrie Lennox.
Aside from the local school activities the Tumbl Trak momentum will be sustained with regular exercise nights from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. every Friday night at the Port Townsend Recreation Center, 620 Tyler St.
The current plan is to schedule one night each month for Blue Heron students to have exclusive use of the equipment, Winsheimer said.
The first Blue Heron night is scheduled for Feb. 22, she said.
Jefferson County Editor Charlie Bermant can be reached at 360-385-2335 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.