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Dragons 4 Wellness ends rebuilding year

BY MICHAEL SMITH
smithmi@mnstate.edu

After a difficult and unorganized year, Dragons 4 Wellness is taking the lessons learned and looking forward to a fresh start.

“This year has kind of been a rebuilding year for us, because all of us are brand new. We tried to do a couple fundraisers that didn’t go so well,” first-year president Wendy Toops said. “Next year we are planning on doing a Dragon Olympics for kids in the community. We are really trying to bring in kids from the community and do physical education things with them while raising money.”

As Dragons 4 Wellness is reaching out to area kids, they are also focusing an effort on recruiting incoming freshmen.

“Right now we just have pretty much sophomores and juniors,” Toops said. “Next year our focus really is to try and get more freshmen into it. It is kind of a tough time for us right now to get freshmen into it because they don’t really understand what it is and they don’t necessarily have a declared major. Since we really gear toward going to the conferences, it appeals more to the physical education and athletic training students.
So, we are really trying to reach out to the freshmen.”

The Dragons 4 Wellness club, like many other MSUM clubs, is an organization of like-minded students with similar majors.

The club offers a space where people with similar interests can come together and talk about their work in the field and get feedback along with having the opportunity to attend national conferences.

“It is an organization where we want to raise money so we can go to different conferences,” Toops said. “It is more to better prepare us for the job field. Our advisers have been in the schools and they are now teaching at the college so they really help us.”

The majority of the students involved in Dragons 4 Wellness are looking into careers in physical education, personal training or athletic training and that is what the Topics covered at the conferences include: teaching styles, classroom management and new games that are being played with classes in the field.

“Since I’m a physical education major, thinking of the games we could play or the events we could do is fun for me,” Toops said. “I work with kids all the time, so to get a group of kids in a loud room is fun for me.”

Dragons 4 Wellness is done with event planning for the year, but the club is eager to start anew at the beginning of next school year.

The 25-member club was filled with new members this year and hit some speed bumps.

“We are just trying to figure out what we are going to do at the start of next year and try to get that ready,” Toops said. “(We need to) have that planned out so that at the beginning of the year we can show whoever comes into the organization what we do and what we want to accomplish.”

As the end of this year draws near, the members of Dragons 4 Wellness will take the things they learned and prepare for next school year.

“Next year I think we have a better idea of how to get things done,” Toops said. “I think that we will learn from what happened this year and go on and try new things and set up new programs.”

To read more from this writer, view his blog at smithmi.blogspot.com

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