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PAL ready to open new workout area

June 19, 2003|by JENNIFER SMITS

jennifers@herald-mail.com

Local high school students will have a new place to work out and get in shape when the Hagerstown Area Police Athletic League opens a weight training and aerobic equipment area on June 30.

Brett McCoy, PAL president and co-founder, said high school students will be able to work on weight training and power lifting at the 100-foot by 66-foot facility at Fairgrounds Park.

McCoy, who said he has been lifting weights since he was in high school, said he wants area youth to have a place where they can practice weight training.

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Volunteers with weightlifting experience will be on hand to assist students. Use of the facility will be free for the teenagers.

"I'm hoping kids take advantage of it to get their bodies in shape for the upcoming school year," he said.

McCoy also plans to teach power lifting, a type of competitive lifting that involves dead lifts, squats and bench presses. For each type of lift, competitors in a particular weight class try to lift more weight than their opponents.

He said he plans to put together a team and hopes to host a competition with Police Athletic League groups from other areas in October.

The new gym, which is part of the city-owned PAL clubhouse building at Fairgrounds Park, was renovated last winter.

Most of the equipment was donated by TR Huston Inc. and the rest was purchased with grant money from the Washington County Community Partnership for Children and Families, McCoy said.

The gym will be open this summer on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 10 a.m. to noon.

McCoy said he will consider adding evening hours for the summer and the gym will switch to all evening hours when school starts in the fall.

PAL is a nonprofit youth organization operated by police and community volunteers. The club offers a variety of programs for local youth including, wrestling, karate, cheer leading, a junior police academy and the law enforcement Explorers post.

McCoy, who said he hopes to draw about 30 teenagers each day to the gym during the summer said he enjoys working with kids.

"I love it," he said. "I can't think of anything more rewarding than working with the kids and helping them to succeed."

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