Physical education at Westmont College

Annika Bahnsen, Staff Writer

Westmont provides its students with the unique opportunity to incorporate exercise into their coursework through the plethora of physical education classes offered. Physical education gives Westmont students a chance to take a break from their books and venture outside. The physical education GE consists of four different one-credit courses that various options fulfill. Westmont offers 29 physical education classes, each showing a new side to the world of physical health.

Morgan Sailer

Due to the COVID-19 restrictions currently in place, most of the physical education classes have had to adapt to these guidelines. Some classes meet online via Zoom or require students to record themselves. This way, Westmont still promotes a healthy lifestyle, even if the environment is different. Unfortunately, many of the classes focused on team sports have been postponed to next year, or have created an individualized approach to the activity. 

Fitness for Life, taught by Dr. Nwaokelemeh, Coach Wolf and Dr. Van Haitsma, is required for all Westmont students, athletes included. This class focuses on creating a personally designed workout program that the student will stick to the entire semester. At first, this task may seem daunting, but with the professors’ help, the student learns what works best for their bodies and what their specific goals are. 

Katie Ticas, a first-year student currently enrolled in Fitness for Life, explained why she loves the various physical education classes offered at Westmont. 

She said, “I like that you can pace yourself in each activity. It also makes it very nice that it’s very accessible to go hiking and running here, which makes these classes more enjoyable.” 

Kickboxing, led by Dr. Elliott, is another class that had to make some dramatic changes. Due to COVID-19, instead of learning all together, the students have followed along online and have been practicing alone. 

Pateley Nichols, a fourth-year, is taking kickboxing this semester.

She explained, “We do a series of exercises that includes kickboxing and cardio. It has been difficult to follow along and [I] find it hard to keep up in many ways just with the boundary of having to do it all virtual. But it has also been a great bonding experience because I’m able to do a lot of these workouts with my roommates and on my own schedule.” 

Westmont has made physical education a necessity to promote the physical and mental well-being of all of its students. With the various options provided to students, physical education classes make exercising an educational and fun outlet for all.