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Fort Drum FMWR staff updates community on new fitness programs

Fort Drum Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation is currently hiring new non-appropriated fund fitness instructors to lead a new slate of classes at Monti Physical Fitness Center this year. This was one of the topics discussed with the community during two informational sessions Jan. 28 to update the community about new sports and fitness opportunities through FMWR in 2020. (Graphic by Mike Strasser, Fort Drum Garrison Public Affairs)
January 31, 2020

This report originally published at dvidshub.net (DVIDS) and is reprinted in accordance with DVIDS guidelines and copyright guidance.

FORT DRUM, N.Y. — Fort Drum Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation staff hosted two informational meetings Jan. 28 to discuss changes to the FMWR fitness programs and answer questions from community members.

Becky Morgia, FMWR Community Recreation Division chief, informed attendees that certified instructors are being hired as Nonappropriated Fund employees to lead a new slate of fitness classes this year. This will replace the current schedule of instructor-led classes that will end in February when the five-year contract expires.

“We are taking a new direction that will enhance fitness opportunities offered to community members,” she said. “Going outside the contractor route has allowed us to really assess what the community wants, so we can hire instructors who can offer those classes.”

Job announcements are currently posted on the USAJOBS.gov website as recreation assistant (physical fitness). Morgia said that two new instructors have recently been hired, and she is hoping to add a spin instructor to the roster soon as more applicants are being reviewed.

“Our community is going to see new types of fitness classes offered, such as the Water Yoga class, as well as some different programs like the Slim the Mountain Challenge,” Morgia added. “What we are trying to do is offer classes during the day, during the evening and on weekends so that it is easier to fit into people’s schedules.”

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Aly Thibodeaux, FMWR Sports / Fitness /Aquatics Program manager, recently tried out the new Water Yoga class with Sarah LeBlanc, the new yoga instructor.

“It’s really just like normal yoga, but done on the water,” Thibodeaux said. “You must be able to swim to take the class, but the instructor will modify moves for people with more or less balance on the water.”

The extra effort of balancing on the inflatable board requires people to engage core muscles while maintaining poses throughout the yoga session. Thibodeaux said that the board is sturdy and roughly the size of a yoga mat.

“It is definitely a good workout, and while it’s an intense class, Sarah is great at scaling the workout up or down for everyone’s skill levels,” Thibodeaux said.

Fitness classes cost $5 each, but discounts will apply when purchasing a six-class punch card for $25 or a 12-class punch card for $50. Punch cards are available at Monti Physical Fitness Center. Patrons also can opt for a monthly fee of $35 to take advantage of any of the classes available.

Morgia also said that spouses of deployed Soldiers are eligible for two free classes per month. This benefit is available from 30 days ahead of deployment to 30 days after the Soldier returns. Eligible patrons can bring in a copy of the deployment orders to Magrath Sports Complex to register. Accounts are automatically renewed every month so patrons will not be required to return with any paperwork.

In addition, Morgia said that community members have expressed interest in forming a Running Club, and plans are underway to get that started once the weather is warmer. Thibodeaux added that a new Stroller Club will be forming in the coming weeks and, most likely, participants will meet at the upstairs track inside Magrath Sports Complex. Currently, she is looking for one or two people to serve as liaisons between the S/F/A program and each of the clubs.

Thibodeaux said that those interested in participating in either the Stroller Club or Running Club should look for announcements at https://www.facebook.com/FtDrumSFA/.

Another class she is excited to offer is the Indoor Sprint Triathlon series on Feb. 18, April 14, July 21, Sept. 29 and Nov. 17. Originally, this was intended as an option for Soldiers during morning physical training hours, but then Thibodeaux added a 9 a.m. start for all DoD cardholders and family members.

“We had a lot of community interest, which made me want to expand it and make sure that we are including spouses and family members, as much as possible,” she said.

FMWR also will include some family fitness options later this year, and more details will be available as early as March.

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