Exercise Science Students ‘Hula Hoop for Heart’

by Kayleigh Digiacomo

photos by Matt Carlin

With spring in the air and people anxious to get outside and shed those winter pounds, many came out to enjoy a fun-filled afternoon of friends, music, sports, and the main attraction: Hula Hooping! On April 15, Instructor Marie Cantwell’s and Dr. Ann Livezey’s Introduction to Exercise Science, Wellness, and Sport Studies (ESW) classes hosted an event called “Hula Hoop for Heart” benefiting the American Heart Association (AHA).

In an effort to encourage fun cardiovascular activities, the students organized a Hula-Hoop competition; the challenge was to see who could hula-hoop the longest. After about 10 minutes into the competition, it came down to two contenders, both who excelled in concentration, agility, and rhythm.

ESW 102 student Ted Schnitzel describes the intensity of the competition.

“It was obvious that they would be there all night so the MC, Greg, called out for them to walk toward each other. The guy…got right up in her face and the girl’s hoop finally dropped. It was an intense finish and fun to watch,” he said.

ESW102 is open to all majors but is particularly important for those who wish to pursue a degree in exercise science, health and wellness, teaching, or sport management.

“In a field where management and marketing are important, this project is designed to help students learn about managing and marketing an event, all while earning money for a charity,” said Dr. Livezey.

The students spent three months working on this project. According to Schnitzel, the behind-the-scenes work included “making posters advertising the event, brainstorming activities to do during the event, buying things to eat and drink…and coming up with something like live music.”

“I learned that projects like these [can] be fun to both plan and attend, although the planning takes a lot of time,” he said.

The time and effort that the two ESW102 classes put into this service project certainly paid off; they raised around $400! All of the proceeds from the event went to the American Heart Association.

Dr. Livezey believes including a service project in the curriculum is an important component to her class. She says it provides good, practical hands-on learning, since most majors in the field of exercise science, health and wellness, or sports studies will need to do this in their careers.

Schnitzel, who aspires to be a physical education teacher, athletic coach, or personal trainer, agrees with Dr. Livezey’s sentiments.

“This class put me on my feet and headed in the right direction in terms of what to do next in attaining that goal,” he said.

Exercise and healthy living require motivation, which is exactly what ESW professionals try to offer their clients and students. The planning of this charity event provided valuable hands-on-experience for the ESW102 students.

“You have to have a good imagination to keep kids interested in physical education class, just as we had to be creative in keeping the attendants of the event occupied and satisfied,” Schnitzel offered.

Instructor Cantwell and Dr. Livezey require all of their students to participate in student-run projects, so be on the lookout for the ESW102 fall event.

~ Matt Carlin and Kayleigh Digiacomo are students at Montgomery County Community College.

One thought on “Exercise Science Students ‘Hula Hoop for Heart’

  1. Very interested in the future writings of

    Ms. Kayleigh DiGiacomo…………….Please keep in touch,

    Doug and Mandy King

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