By Amsey Liebenow
Art by Hallie Anderson
In 2019, the St. Mary’s community received word that the Athletic and Wellness Center (AWC) at St. Mary’s was going to be built. The idea of a building that would fulfill all the needs and dreams of St. Mary’s athletics was thrilling for students, teachers and coaches.
John Bartholomew, the St. Mary’s director of athletics, explained the initial purpose of the AWC, saying, “The AWC gives students and athletes a sense of community, improved athletic ability, injury prevention and offered tribute to past athletes.”
Throughout the construction, though, St. Mary’s learned that there were some prices to pay in order to receive a brand new athletic building: chapel being relocated to Cheney Parish Hall, lunches being consumed in classrooms, and class lectures being interrupted by construction noises, etc.
Freshman soccer and lacrosse player, Isabel Isaccs (9) thinks that it was worth the wait and inconvenience: “The athletic and wellness center has improved my athletic ability because I can now go workout whenever I want in a safe and encouraging environment.”
The finished construction of the AWC has provided permanent offices for our two beloved athletic trainers Coach Clair Betti and Coach Bob Dunaway. Coach Claire is predominantly a strength and conditioning specialist who works with every athlete to teach them how to workout properly and effectively. Coach Bob works with Campbell Clinic and helps St. Mary’s students with injury prevention and treatment. Through injury prevention such as Coach Claire’s work strengthening workouts and Coach Bob’s physical therapy, students have been more safely participating in exercise and sports. Furthermore, when injuries do occur, Coach Bob is able to heal the injuries and helps athletes through the recovery process.
The AWC has improved both teams’ sports abilities and individual athletics. St. Mary’s athlete Zoe McMullen (9) says, “The Athletic Wellness center has really advanced my sports ability to its potential. I have gotten faster, stronger, and I aim to be a part of the 500 lift club.” The initial goal of the AWC was simply to provide St. Mary’s with a better sports facility, but ended up creating a greater sense of community, improved athletics and a healthier environment for SMS students and faculty.
For & By Students
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