Not quite a home court, but PE gets a gym at JCC

WOOD: PE classes will use the polished floors of the JCC gym this year during the day, but YULA will still share it for games and practices after school.

Goldie Fields

WOOD: PE classes will use the polished floors of the JCC gym this year during the day, but YULA will still share it for games and practices after school.

By Mati Hurwitz, Sports Editor

PE classes will use an indoor gym and athletic court this year on the second floor of the JCC, the first time Shalhevet has had indoor gym classes since it was last housed in the JCC building in the mid-1990s.

This gym is a familiar sight for Firehawk Nation, hosting yearly rivalry games every year between YULA and Shalhevet in basketball and volleyball.

But in an ironic twist, the YULA Panthers – not the Firehawks– will call the court home. Shalhevet team practices will once again this year be held at Ohr Eliyahu, located near the intersection of La Brea Avenue and Beverly Boulevard.

Under Shalhevet’s lease agreement with the JCC, the school gets 20 hours per week of gym access, according to PE coach Raelyn Bieda. Any additional hours, such as games, events and practices, must be paid for and reserved through the JCC separately.

As in previous years, YULA has reserved it for practice after school this year.

According to Shalhevet Athletic Director Mr. Eli Schiff, YULA has five basketball squads, meaning Shalhevet wouldn’t have gym access until 10 PM. But Firehawk home games will likely remain at the JCC.

“We use Ohr Eliyahu because it has more consistent availability for us,” Mr. Shiff said. YULA Girls Volleyball and Boys Varsity Basketball have already started practicing in the JCC after Shalhevet’s designated hours are over.

There was no gym at all in the old building at San Vicente and Fairfax. For the last several years, PE was on the Sport Court; before that it was on the parking lot.

Toward the end of last year – after the Sport Court was demolished – PE consisted of a jog around the Fairfax – San Vicente neighborhood. Some days people would work out using old exercise equipment stored downstairs next to the PE office.

Now, students have the chance to run, play and exercise on the coated wooden surface of the JCC’s gym floor.

“It’s a much better surface for push-ups and sit-ups than other surfaces before,” Coach Rae told the Boiling Point.

That, she said, means a chance to mix up a broader range of PE class activities.

“I have more freedom to do more things,” Coach Rae said, including playing more team sports using the gym’s six basketball hoops and volleyball court.

Along with additions to the program, Shalhevet PE students will still run for 10 minutes at the beginning of class, Coach Rae said. Also, she said they may still run outside, around the neighborhood surrounding the JCC.

New luxuries aside, the gym is not air conditioned. There are two huge fans located on opposite sides of the room that cool it down.In case of too much heat outside or even inside, Coach Rae the location of PE classes might be changed. Also, Rabbi Segal sent out an email Sept. 2 advising students to keep drinking.

“We have placed water coolers throughout the school and STRONGLY encourage you to bring a refillable water bottle to keep hydrated,” Rabbi Segal wrote to the entire Shalhevet community.