NU ranked 9th fittest college in country

Norwich University creates physically fit students in both the civilian and military life style on campus. “We do have a very active student body,” stated the N.U. Director of Athletics, Tony Mariano.
Staying physically active “is something they enjoy doing,” said Mariano. “Many of our college students here at Norwich value fitness.”

Norwich was founded on a system of eight guiding values. The guiding values provide a structure of how to live the N.U. lifestyle. Being physically fit is one of the guiding values.
“The reason that we are so physically fit is because we are a military school,” said Kristine Seipel, Housing Officer and Adjutant of the university.
Being a military school, “we have to (physically train),” said Ike Bonneville, 22, a senior criminal justice major from New Windsor, Maryland.
Most cadets train early in the morning with their ROTC units, several times a week. With events such as the corps physical fitness test, the cadets on campus stay in tip top shape.
The civilians on campus are also in peak physical condition. “You have a lot that are in the National Guard or are reservists,” Seipel said.
Prior enlistment is very common at Norwich. A lot of civilians, as well as corps students, are involved in varsity athletics, intramurals or various other club sports.
“Fifty six percent of student athletes are in the corps. Forty four percent are civilians for the academic year 2013/14,” said the Director of Sports Information, Derek Dunning.
This figure presents a fairly even split between civilian and corps. There were “577 student athletes (last year),” Mariano said.
That number only includes the students on one of the 20 varsity programs offered here at Norwich. It does not include those on club or intramural sports.
“A quarter of our students are participating in varsity athletics,” said Daphne Larkin, Media Relations Manager of the university.
The number of students on varsity athletics is pretty impressive. What else is impressive is the number of freshman alone on a varsity sports team.
“A fourth of the incoming freshman this year are on a varsity athletic team,” said Dunning. That just goes to show that Norwich has prided itself on having strong athletic teams, and will continue to do so.
Most of incoming freshman corps and civilian students have prior physical experience “in interscholastic or intramurals or recreational sports,” Mariano said.
In late August, fitness and adventure website Active Times ranked Norwich University as the ninth fittest college in the country.
In everyday life, “you don’t settle for minimum, so why should we settle for ninth when we can make first,” said Bonneville.
Even with the high physical demands and expectations of Norwich, the university still stresses academics as the primary priority.
“It is a great honor for Norwich to be included in the top ten,” said Dunning. However, it is important to remember that “student comes before athlete.”
“You need to meet a physical requirement to maintain your Military College of Vermont diploma,” Seipel said.
Academics and physical fitness go hand in hand, and the discipline learned from fitness can be used in the classroom in order to maintain a passing grade point average to graduate.
Physical fitness is “about reaching your full potential,” Bonneville said. “It shows that you can take care of your body and can have respect for your body by keeping it in shape.”
Norwich offers students many ways to physically better themselves with all of the athletics, the weight room, the strength and conditioning coach, the Shaw Recreation Center and even the campus itself.
Located in the midst of the green mountain state and everything seeming to be uphill “you’re getting exercise just walking around,” said Seipel.
Not only does the terrain offer physical challenges, but so does the climate.
“Having such a cold winter forces people to be more active,” Larkin said. “Just to get around you have to be in pretty good shape.”

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