ILC Students Get Fit with Avalanche

Tersa Bitew, Reporter


The Colorado Avalanche professional ice hockey team joined with the EHS Unified  teams to take part in Team Fit on December 18, 2018. Typically, the Avalanche participates with elementary school students, but when Meghan Reitveld decided to reach out to them, they willingly made the change and began their first organized Team Fit including EHS students.

The main reason for Rietveld to reach out to The Avalanche was her love for the sport and the tea Following their social media accounts she came across these events often and learned more about the program. She contacted them to see if they were willing to perform with our Unified students.

Team Fit sponsors The Rapids, The Nuggets, The Avalanche, and The Outlaws. The intention of Team Fit is to interact with Unified students and encourage them to make healthy living choices and while also stressing the necessity of dynamic warm-ups.  It is an educational as well as physical event that informs students on particular essential habits that need to be developed.

The Avalanches set up stations and sports that appealed to the kids and allowed them to show off their skills while  also awarding the kids with lunch boxes as a reminder to make healthy meal choices. Rietveld explains that, “The Avalanche players coming was cool because we got to talk about healthy living choices, like why you should eat breakfast and why you warm up before you start sports.” It was very exciting for the students to mention that they won the Pepsi Center Tournament where The Avalanches play.

Before Team Fit, the Unified Teams have used curriculums through the Special Olympics, called Healthy Leap that helped them gain knowledge about being an active and healthy athlete. Stephanie Stieglemar, a member of the Student Achievement Services Staff explained, “I think it helps our kids to know more about other communities and other sports and it helps them get that idea out to companies like the Avalanche that there are other populations that they can impact and not just little kids.”

The staff and students are willing to work on making healthy eating choices and educating students about nutrients and their significance. Prioritizing good living habits and paying attention to food intake is very essential for Unified students to consider daily and learn, especially through professionals. Reitveld clarifies, “Learning what is a fat and what is a protein and then how much you should be eating by looking at fruit and being like Oh! That’s fruit I should eat that. But eating three helpings of fruit from the cafeteria, you’re getting too much sugar in your body. Not everyone has an easy time  understanding that, so we incorporate it nearly every class.”

Reitveld and the Unified Team plans on doing Team Fit again next year and would love for this to be a regular event because her students love sports and it would be easy for the kids to intermingle.