Girls soccer tackles Shred 415

Varsity members participate in new workout program.


The team posing after a workout (Christina Thornton).

Drew Cushing, Online Editor

Leading up to the beginning of the season the girls soccer team participated in a pilot workout/donation program run by PepsiCo Showdown in partner with Shred 415, a personal training and fitness gym. The team, along soccer teams from Loyola Academy, Whitney Young and Jones College Prep worked out at the Shred 415 facilities, and, instead of paying the full $25 fee for the workouts, players only had to pay $5 thanks to the Pepsi Showdown’s partnership with Aquafina, alongside bringing in items to be donated each week to a Chicago woman’s shelter.

“The program helped show me that I can get involved in giving back to the community while also being active with my teammates,” varsity forward Delaney Fox ‘16 said. “It helps show that something as simple as bringing in some items every week to donate will make a huge difference in peoples lives in the community.”

This program is run by the community service arm of PepsiCo Showdown, called Buddy’s Helpers. Its goal is to get players to make a difference on and off the field. The program ran for four weeks from Feb. 21 to March 13, with workouts taking place for one hour each Sunday.  Each week, the players were expected to bring in donations such as toiletries, toys, articles of clothing, and even motivational letters.

“It was an intense work out that definitely pushed us to become better athletes,” defensive midfielder Sarah-Kate Weibel ‘16 said. “But also just working out with all girls knowing that we were doing this to help other women in need was really rewarding.”
This is the pilot year that Pepsi Showdown is running this program, and all the donations are going towards Connections for Abused Women and their Children Shelter, previously known as the Chicago Abused Women Coalition.

“There’s no greater feeling than giving back and enhancing someone’s life,” Joe Trost, founder of the Pepsi Showdown, said. “When you have an event as large as the PepsiCo Showdown, which features 216 high schools and more than 21,000 athletes, you can make a big impact.”

The gym’s high intensity interval training has helped to prepare the team for the Pepsi Showdown tournament and its season, but has also left an impact on it due to its emphasis on coming together to make a difference both on and off the field.

“I think the teams [in the program] are sending a message that if we come together to do something fun as a team we can also come together to give back,” Fox said. “It helps show to the community that we are able to use the time we spend together to not only improve ourselves athletically, but to also make an effort to help others.”

The program appears to have paid as so far, as the team has gone [updates updates updates].