This past weekend, 15 Beat the Streets student-athletes attended the Spartan Edge program in Boston, MA. During the November 12-13 trip, which was funded by the Public School Athletic League, the student-athletes participated in a leadership course and a Spartan Race.
The leadership course, presented by the Spartan Games organization, focused on how youth can use “grit” to their advantage and as an integral part of achieving success in all their endeavors. At the conclusion of the course, there was a Spartan Race among all of the PSAL athletes.
The student-athletes didn’t simply have their strength, endurance, or agility put to the test. The trip was designed by PSAL coordinators so that the kids were enriched, whether through learning parts of Boston’s history or getting exposed to what it means to be a “Spartan”-- a well-rounded individual with set priorities in life.
Konstantin Parfiryev, BTS alumnus and volunteer coach, was present and gave a glowing review: “I believe it was a great team building experience for all of those kids. They all seemed to enjoy it and have fun out there.”
One of the coaches said of the event that there were “lots of cooperative learning opportunities for the students to work with each other, create strategy and really support each other.” He continued that he loved that “each section had a piece where we had to push beyond our limitations,” and “that’s what the Spartan Race is all about.” All of the coaches praised the experience and proudly stated that the student-athletes “saw success… and some failure” and “crossed the line with a smile.”
The student-athletes agreed that the event was really fun and that their greatest fear prior to the race was not being able to finish it. One said, “I was scared that I wasn’t prepared enough for it and I’d get tired and just quit -- I’m happy I didn’t.” Another said that “having somebody...next to you who is capable of doing what you can’t do and having them support you... is also helpful to go past the finish line.” Many students-athletes were wearing eyeblacks that read “#NeverQuit”.
One student-athlete said that being a wrestler “definitely” helped and that whenever he thought he’d quit, he would remember his coach and push through. He laughed and said that BTS helped, too, specifically saying “I could hear Penn’s voice when I was going up the wall yelling ‘You can do it! Let’s go!”
Another agreed that you needed to stay mentally strong and that wrestling “of course” helped because it’s “all mental.” A group of them elatedly spoke about specific challenges, proud that they had overcome it all and done it together.
Two student athletes said that Beat the Streets allows them to be exposed to many places, people and experiences, including this race. Another said that BTS opportunities “prepare me physically and mentally for any challenges that we’ll have, wrestling-wise and outside of wrestling.”