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LVC Sports Center Enjoying Partnership With Silver Sneakers
01.24.13 |
Since October, the LVC Sports Center has been a participating fitness location for the Silver Sneakers program, which is geared towards encouraging physical activity for older adults. The facilities on campus at Lebanon Valley College were originally chosen for the diversity of equipment available – specifically the warm-water wellness pool.

Members receive full access to the facilities between 6 a.m. and 3 p.m. They are invited to make use of all available amenities, including the fitness machines and weight training equipment, indoor track, wellness pool, main pool, saunas, and locker rooms.

“We don’t bring in programs that aren’t going to fit with other things we offer here,” said Melissa Weidler, director of the LVC Sports Center. “They come in at a perfect time of the day when it’s not as busy, so it’s not as overwhelming for people first beginning a workout program.”

Membership dues are reimbursed to the College through participating health insurance plans seeking healthier and more active enrollees.

“For the user, it’s a free program,” Weidler said. “A lot of them are first-time users and would not have gone out and signed up for a fitness membership on their own.”

But both Weidler and James O’Brien, outreach coordinator for the LVC Sports Center, are quick to point out that there are benefits well outside the monetary gains drawn from dues.

“For us, this is a great opportunity to provide services to the local community,” said James O’Brien, outreach coordinator for the LVC Sports Center. “We enjoy seeing people coming in and utilizing our facilities in a way that promotes wellness in their lives. Another thing that we really enjoy seeing is the mix of our students with members of the community. It gets people talking to those they might not otherwise see on daily basis, you never know if you might form a meaningful connection and where that might lead.”

Though there are similar programs in existence, Weidler insists that Silver Sneakers provides the biggest list of local clientele and a chance to touch a greater number of people.

Those meaningful connections help to realize the secondary mission of the Silver Sneakers program, which is social interaction among members, and has clearly taken root at LVC. “What I’ve thought has been really cool is seeing new members join and recognizing others from their past,” O’Brien said. “You hear things like, ‘I haven’t seen you in 20 years.’ I hear things like that at least once a day.”

Capacity on potential enrollees at LVC has not been capped, and the number of new members continues to grow. Weidler and O’Brien are already looking at new ways to incentivize new members in the future, and there are plans to get physical therapy students involved in fitness programming.

For more information on Silver Sneakers and potential eligibility, visit www.silversneakers.com.


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