CARLSBAD, Calif. - Hundreds of shouts rang through the air as students raced alongside Marines during a morning workout at Jefferson Elementary School, Feb. 13, 2014.
Marines with Combat Logistics Regiment 1 and 1st Medical Battalion, 1st Marine Logistics Group, volunteered their time to support more than 500 students in their new fitness program known as “Motion.”
“We started the Motion Fitness Program this year and it has gone every single day,” said Chad Lund, Jefferson Elementary School principal and native of Carlsbad, Calif. “Today was cool. The number one thing for me would be inspiring the kids and that’s where [the Marines] come in. They were really motivated to have the Marines here.”
Inspired by a book, “Spark,” Lund realized how important exercise is to the body and mind. The goal of “Motion” is to improve fitness thus improve focus.
“I hope they see the lifelong benefit of this,” added Lund. “People are sick; people have cancer and are overweight. You look at this and think why are these things happening and then why aren’t we doing something to reverse it. If kids see others, like these Marines here today, working out and being active they can realize that they can get up and move too and their life can be a lot better.”
During the program Marines led various events, such as push-ups, squats, soccer and basketball. By the end of the workout not only did all the students have smiles on their faces, but the Marines as well.
“I just wanted to come and motivate the kids,” said Sgt. Donovan Collins, a field wireman with Communications Company, CLR-1. “It’s awesome to be here. They have a lot of questions and are so open minded. It puts a smile on my face and makes me feel great and proud to be a Marine.”
Since its development, Lund invited several other guests to participate in the program, including local olympians, paralympic olympians, firefighters and local businessmen and women interested in helping the cause.
For many of the Marines, it was a chance to influence their local community.
“This experience has been very cool because we don’t know them and they don’t know us, but they still look up to us because they know what we stand for and what we mean to the country,” said Sgt. Ebony Tatum, a telecommunications supervisor with CLR-1 and a native of Fort Washington, Md. “ I think Marines should get out here because it’s a great opportunity to get involved with your community, to build good relationships and to help out people who may not have good role models in their life.”