TIPTON – The Tipton County Foundation has awarded $15,000 to Tipton High School to buy cardio machines for its recently renovated weight room in a move that officials say will encourage female students to use the workout space.
The money came from the foundation’s Women’s Fund, and marks the largest single grant ever awarded by the fund, according to a release.
Tipton High School football coach Aaron Tolle said the weight room has always been used by female students, but the cardio equipment will make the gym more welcoming to girls and female staff.
“The traditional weight equipment housed there was not as welcoming as we have found the cardio equipment to be,” he said in a release. “ ... If our female students can gain more confidence in utilizing fitness facilities at a young age, perhaps they will be more comfortable maintaining a life of fitness beyond high school.”
Some of the equipment includes new treadmills, elliptical machines and exercise bikes.
Dawn Dunn, administrative coordinator for the Tipton County Foundation and coordinator of the Women’s Fund, said the grant aligns with organization’s mission by providing fitness equipment that is more inclusive and beneficial to all students, but especially female students.
“The size of a nature of this grant is indicative of the long-term impact of members of the Women’s Fund Committee felt the funding would have on female students,” she said.
The Tipton Women’s Fund was founded in 2007 and has awarded nearly $40,000 to over 30 programs since then.
A ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the new workout facility will be held at 5 p.m. Tuesday.
The new weight room was built in part to honor Steve Powell, a Tipton alum who graduated in 1991 and then received a full-ride scholarship to play football at Purdue University. He passed away in October 2018 after a battle with cancer.
After his college career, Powell came back to town and worked at Chrysler while also serving as a coach for Tipton’s track and field and football teams.
The gym includes three new, double-rack weight lifting machines, as well as a 70-foot long stretch of turf outside the weight room that will allow athletes to train indoors. Netting can also be placed around the turf to turn it into a batting cage.