Students hit the gym
Michael Bauer | sports reporter
The fitness business that is in some ways Pittsburg State’s unofficial athletic training center is attracting more student athletes.
Originally located on Ninth Street, the Mac Fitness Center moved to 11th and Walnut Street last year. That is where the complex and 24-hour gym now stands.
Mica Dalton, manager, says the center relocated to expand, benefiting athletes and other members.
“The main goal of our Mac Fitness Center is to work with athletes and teach them how to use their basic fundamentals and agilities,” Dalton said. “So, we were able to get this indoor facility.”
Of the 193 members, roughly 130 of them are students. That is just individuals; students who are part of family plans are counted as part of the remaining 63 people and are not individually identifiable.
Dalton says that the football team weight train and do other exercises in the center regularly. The volleyball and basketball teams also come by during their off-seasons for training.
Even though most of the members are from Pitt State, the Mac Fitness Center was originally started for the k-12 schools in town. As time passed, Mac Fitness has increasingly become more involved with university activities.
“As we’ve done more advertising with the college and the football team, we’ve done more tailgating with the football games,” Dalton said. “More students have come over to utilize their weights at the 24-hour gym.”
The center does not hold any recreation-league events. But Dalton says he hopes to host more tournaments in the future.
“Right now, we’ve just opened the gym to off-season training,” Dalton said. “We’ve talked with the university about maybe doing an offseason dodge ball tournament.”
Fees for students are $28 a month. The membership card enables access to the 24-hour site.
The gym may not be that old, but it has already had a professional athlete attend. Last month, Lavonte David, a linebacker for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, came by as part of the Forces for Hope, a charity organization dedicated to fighting childhood obesity.
His appearance drew a large crowd, ranging from kids to college students.
“He came into the gym and signed some autographs and hung out with athletes and kids,” Dalton said.
When David was done working out, he ran some courses and raced against the kids in a game of touch football.
“It was a really awesome time. The kids really enjoyed it,” Dalton said.
David has just finished his first season in the NFL, but played his first year of college football at Fort Scott Community College, before transferring to the University of Nebraska.
“He knows the people who founded Forces for Hope really well,” Dalton said. “He came here as a favor to them. He ended up at Mac Fitness because they needed an indoor place and we know them pretty well.”