Photo courtesy of the ACGC Strength and Conditioning Facebook page.

For Guthrie County residents wondering how they’d like to give charitably this holiday season, one might look at the younger generation of residents who wake up early to put in an effort that stretches beyond themselves or a team.

The Guthrie Center School District is in the design stages of building a new weight room and fitness center for students and community members to use, and physical education teacher and coach Cody Matthewson is heading the effort to raise funds for new equipment. In his second year working for the District, Matthewson has seen the popularity of strength and conditioning grow, with attendance as large as 124 students using the current weight room. Matthewson mentions that participants aren’t just athletes, and he says strength and conditioning builds a work ethic for the kids, “I know and I’m sure you know just as well, and everybody else knows that sometimes it’s hard to hold yourself disciplined and accountable to your own fitness ideas. I mean we all got ideas we’ll write them down and sometimes it’s just hard when there’s no one else pushing you or holding you accountable.”

While weight lifting helps student athletes achieve greater successes, Matthewson says all the students benefit from learning how to create a healthier lifestyle for adulthood to come. The estimated cost for new personalized equipment, turf, and more is $125,000, and Matthewson says you can donate by contacting the school or by visiting his gofundme page.