Based on a recent survey given last Spring, Irvington High School students (like many other schools around us and across the U.S.) have unusually high levels of depression and anxiety and low levels of resilience. Additionally, we are a very academic school, which has its benefits and fallbacks. The benefits include higher test scores (which is great for the school) but the fallback is that it breeds too much competition and not enough cooperation (students are vying against each other to get spots in elite colleges). Knowing that one simple solution does not exist, we are actively trying to attack these issues with a number of methods.
One of our potential solutions is Spartan SGX Training. Since last year, a licensed SGX trainer, comes to our football field every Saturday morning at 10am to set up an obstacle course and offer free training to our school community (staff, students, and parents). Our belief and reason for the training is to attack the issues above, namely high depression and anxiety, low resilience, and not enough cooperation. The physical exercise serves to make students feel better and take students' minds off of the causes of their issues, leading to a decrease in depression and anxiety. Next, the SGX coach works to teach students to, literally, overcome obstacles with an emphasis on building resilience; if students can overcome challenges here, they should be able to translate these successes to other areas of their lives. Finally, the best bonding experience is when a group of people get out of their comfort zones. This has already been a unique opportunity for students, staff, and parents to bond and become a stronger community.
Ty Rawlinson, our main SGX trainer has been donating his time and services since last year. We feel that it is very important to have a certified SGX trainer there to make sure that people are doing things correctly to prevent injury (through over 30 sessions, some with over 90 people, we have not had any injuries). Ty and other SGX trainers have also built and paid for the following obstacles for our students, staff, and parents to use: Up-and-over wall, traverse wall, army crawl area, rope climb, etc. All of this has come at no cost to the school.
We would love to continue this program as we have already realized its benefits through a number of our students, and we also realize that Ty and the other SGX trainers, even though they have not approached us for pay, cannot keep donating their time and equipment forever. Therefore, we have created this GoFundMe account to help them. The monies will go to the longevity of this program, financially helping out the trainers and paying for new obstacles and challenges. We hope that you can help us continue to battle our school's issues positively and with vigor.
- Bernadette Barriere
- Kate Durham
- Viktor Kovacs
- Laurie Lindrup
Organizer and beneficiary