UNION COUNTY — On Wednesday, local elementary school students learned about nutrition and exercise from an expert.
Trans-South Wrestling Heavyweight Champion Peter Kaasa visited each of the five elementary schools in the Union County School District to talk with students about nutrition and staying active.
Kaasa’s first stop was Buffalo Elementary School, where he visited with four kindergarten classes. Keeping with the school district’s new healthy snacks initiative for kindergarten students, Kaasa read them “Eat Lots of Colors: A Colorful Look at Healthy Nutrition for Children.” The book used rhymes to teach children the various benefits of a “colorful” diet. Kaasa also answered pro wrestling questions after reading, took photos with students and gave them free tickets good for admission to any Trans-South Wrestling event.
Next, Kaasa visited Lockhart School, where he began by talking to several P.E. classes — combined into one group — about nutrition and exercise. Kaasa encouraged students to exercise at home, reminding them they could always do jumping jacks, even while watching TV. He also went over various types of healthy snacks. At the conclusion of the P.E. class, students pleaded for Kaasa to demonstrate wrestling techniques on Coach Matt Simmons. Coach Mike Massey pulled out mats, and Kaasa obliged by demonstrating several amateur wrestling escapes and reversals with Simmons.
After the class, Kaasa continued his visit at Lockhart School by visiting with kindergarten, first grade and second grade classes, reminding students to eat healthy and stay active. Kaasa provided free tickets for each of the students with whom he visited at Lockhart School.
Kaasa then visited Jonesville Elementary/Middle School where he was greeted with a lively ovation from a gymnasium full of students. Kaasa talked with those students about the same themes, also answering wrestling questions. Kaasa then reversed the situation, asking students wrestling trivia questions. Those who answered correctly were rewarded with free tickets to Trans-South Wrestling events.
Next on the wrestler’s Union County elementary school tour was Foster Park Elementary, where he spoke to fifth graders in the school cafeteria. Kaasa gave students the same information as he had at other schools, and he also provided tips for coordination.
“Did you know that you can improve in basketball just from brushing your teeth?” he asked. “If you brush with your right hand in the morning and then switch to your left hand at night, you will improve your coordination. Your dribbling will improve on both sides.”
Kaasa went on to describe how ambidextrous activities can improve coordination for various situations in several sports.
Kaasa’s last stop on Wednesday was the Save the Children after-school program at Monarch Elementary. Kaasa reminded students to make nutrition and exercise a priority. When one student — Tyler Henderson — asked to wrestle, Kaasa compromised by challenging him to a thumb-wrestling match, which Henderson won.
“Visiting these schools has made my day — my whole year,” Kaasa said. “I never knew when I planned this that I would receive this kind of response. I’ve been a part of Trans-South Wrestling for a couple of years, and my love for Union County continues to grow each time I’m here. I can’t tell you how awesome today was.”
Derik Vanderford can be reached at 864-427-1234, Ext. 29.