November 23, 2005

Montgomery High Celebrates ‘Chargers Champions Cardio Zone’

Grant-funded fitness facility helps students improve health

San Diego Chargers linebacker Donnie Edwards along with A. G. Spanos, son of Chargers owner Alex G. Spanos, gathered with Sweetwater dignitaries, Montgomery administrators and students to celebrate the opening of the new workout facility dubbed the Cardio Zone.

The Aztec Fitness Center has been enlarged and equipped with cardio vascular equipment such as treadmills, Life-cycles and elliptical trainers. It is open for workouts to Montgomery High athletes, physical education classes and adult education fitness courses.

Chargers Pep Talk: Flanked by Montgomery athletes and students, Donnie Edwards of the San Diego Chargers speaks from his heart about using the new facility- “be about it,” he says.

Funded through the Charger Champions grant program, the facility-which replaces the old weight room-meets the project’s mission to improve fitness levels of San Diego youth. A.G. Spanos, Director of Marketing Programs and Business Development, presented a “check” for the $50,000 to the facility to Robin Fiege, acting Montgomery High principal.

“Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself,” Jim Cartmill, Board President, said, quoting Russian author Leo Tolstoy. “Here, you can change your world, make a visible difference by changing your physical aspect by using the facility.”

Donnie Edwards of San Diego Chargers and Sweetwater District Alumni Hall of Famer, corroborated the theme saying, “Use it and be healthy. You guys are so fortunate to have this workout center.”

The Spanos have given more than $2 million through the San Diego Chargers’ charitable foundation grants for schools and students in 2004 alone, said Kimberly Layton, Director of Community Relations. A concern for the fitness levels of students was the impetus for the fitness facilities.

Montgomery athletes and students from physical education classes filled the grand opening celebration in the new “Cardio Zone,” which looked like a picture postcard of a top-notch gym. Envisioned as a state-of-the-art fitness facility to fight childhood obesity, the center addresses both physical activity and sound nutritional practices.

Beginning in 9th grade physical education classes, students will get an individualized fitness program. Students will be assessed and can check an on-line fitness-monitoring program. Each student will develop a fitness plan and learn how to lead a healthy life. A physical education resource teacher will be on duty to help students in the center before and after school and throughout the day.

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