Coast Guard Academy to Build New Strength & Conditioning Center

By Casey McGarvey, USCGA Assistant Sports Information Director
From The Bulletin, a bi-monthly publication of the CGA Alumni Association
The Coast Guard Academy Athletic and Health & Physical Education Departments are preparing for the imminent construction of a state of the art Cadet Strength & Conditioning Center to be built on the terrace outside of Roland Hall’s main gymnasium.  This new facility will expand the department’s limited workout space and provide a better environment for the Cadets to improve their fitness.
USCGA’s Alumni Association, working closely with the CGA Parents’ Association and various classes has raised nearly 2.5 million dollars towards the project.   
“The new Strength & Conditioning Center will spark a newfound interest in training in the Corps, due to the desire to experience the new facility and equipment,” said Strength Coach, Shaakira Hassell.  “It will also help encourage a new culture of healthy living with the incorporation of a fueling station for the cadet-athletes.”
Hassell works with all of the cadet-athletes to better prepare them for their respective sports.  She is currently working with teams of between 50-70 athletes in tight spaces.  The new Center will allow her to expand her ability to train the teams, but also better individualize workouts for the athletes.
“Success in the new Strength & Conditioning facility will translate into success in the daily life of a Cadet and eventually as an Officer,” said Hassell.  “It will foster a lifelong routine of training, staying fit, and eating healthy.”
Kevin Bratland, Coast Guard’s Head Wrestling Coach and also a member of the Health & Physical Education (HPE) staff, currently teaches strength and conditioning classes.  “There is tremendous effort put into teaching, promoting and leading by example in regards to the lifelong learning of health and wellness here at the Academy,” said Bratland.  “It is a part of our core HPE curriculum. We look at health and wellness as a ‘lifestyle’ and everyone from the Commandant of Cadets Division, the Health & Physical Education Department, and the entire faculty and staff across campus, helps to promote that philosophy.”
“The new center will provide the space needed to teach classes without interfering with other Cadets trying to work out,” added Bratland.  “It is also going to provide Cadets with an extended opportunity to use the newest and best equipment available…I guarantee the new Strength & Conditioning Center will be one of the most visited places on campus by our Cadets.”
While the Center will not only facilitate the health and wellness of the cadets who are currently attending the Academy, it will also help the Coast Guard Academy recruit the best and brightest.
“All the schools we compete against have world class facilities,” said USCGA Alumni Association President, Captain Andrea Marcille, USCG (Ret), ’89.  “It is almost like an arms race that we have to catch up with.  You cannot recruit kids to the Academy with 1970’s-era facilities…We look forward to sharing future opportunities for more individuals and classes to be a part of this exciting project,” said Marcille.