Local teens weigh in
by Misty Volaski
Working with teens in the Ojai Recreation Department teen
fitness center is the best retirement job Gary Ryan could ask
"I used to work for the government," Ryan said, "but
this is so much better. We get some really neat kids in here.
It's a real pleasure to work with them."
For the past two years, Ryan has coached youths 14 to 18 in the
rooms above the ORD gymnasium. For the majority of that time,
Ryan volunteered, but after recieving Ojai's Volunteer of the
Year Award, he was put on the ORD payroll.
"It's not something you do for the money. You do it because
it's fullfilling. That's why I'm still here," he said.
Every day except Sunday, Ryan can be found answering teens' questions,
stressing proper eating habits, or joking around with the kids.
"We want to provide a positive place for the kids. We want
them to keep their heads on straight and keep going in the right
direction," Ryan noted.
And it seems to be working. With 15 to 40 kids showing up each
day to work out and train with Ryan, the program is in full swing.
"I like working with people with special needs. Right now
I am training some girls for the soccer season," he said.
The three rooms that make up the fitness center hold, in part,
a full set of free weights, punching bags, a variety of weight
resistance machines and balance boards. Much of it was donated
by Ryan himself.
Ryan and Recreation Supervisor Jayden Morrison said that although
the weight trainging program has been hugely successful, they
would like to add boxing to the agenda as soon as possible.
"We have the equipment here, we just need a boxing coach,"
Fees are $1 a day, or $15 per month for kids 14 through 18 and
ORD youth staff. Personal training is also available; call ORD
for more information
Anyone interested in the boxing coach position should call Jayden
at the Recreation Department at 646-1872.
© 2002 The Ojai Valley News
Back to sports
Back to the news
NYLANDER POUNDS a punching bag Wednesday. Nylander works at ORD
and is a regular in its weight room.