MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - For students at Myrtle Beach High School, it's the gift that keeps on giving. An anonymous donation is enabling students to train for life outside of Myrtle Beach High. The donation came as a welcomed surprise, with a conditional price tag.
"Sit in that lunge, sit in that lunge, sit in that lunge," MBHS strength and conditioning coach John Sedeska said to students he trains. The weight room is his classroom.
His students, like JB Favorite, are still in shock by this classroom. "I didn't think it was going to be this nice. It's our team colors and everything," Favorite said.
Student Kageyonah Brown Spivey said the training room is more than what meets the eye. "They want us to strive for things…because of the success and dedication we have put in to the sports that we play," she told WMBF News.
"Just seeing it for the first time was amazing," MBHS student Tyler Flannelly said.
For Coach Sedeska, it was more. "It really was like Christmas morning for me…to have this, to have this room now…it's a great opportunity."
The training room wasn't always fresh-smelling, with new weights, leather benches embroidered with the school's letters and mascot, matched with new equipment and dumbbell sets.
"The original room that we had before this room. It was intimidating when you walked in…and it wasn't intimidating just to athletes, but to students in general. It was intimidating because the equipment wasn't user friendly, it was outdated, it was rusted," Sedeska said. He believes the weight room promotes togetherness, strength and hard work. "So everybody sets a goal. Everybody's goals are different, and it's my job to help them reach their goals."
A Myrtle Beach family may have recognized the goals that can be achieved within a weight room, student-athlete or not. MBHS Athletic Director John Cahill said the family anonymously donated $75,000 for the weight room. It was matched with a school contribution.
"We could've done it but it would've taken longer. This anonymous donation was fantastic," Ken Pruett, president of MBHS all sports booster club, said.
The room is giving four classes of forty students a day, and every student-athlete, a place of inclusion to succeed.
"It feels good because like wow, we have the same things, the same equipment as boys have to workout and become stronger," Brown Spivey explained.
But the anonymous donation comes with a charitable price tag. "In order for the donation to go through, we had to commit as a high school the same amount of money in hours, to the community…and to give back to the community in any way that we can," Coach Sedeska said.
Twenty hours of community service per team, per year, is all the family asked of the school in return.
The students agreed community service is a fair trade, and look forward to the team-building that comes with a group effort. "We're very thankful for those who put up and donate to help us get where we're at today," basketball player Makayla Morgan said.
Although the weight room was finished in January, the school is holding an official ribbon-cutting ceremony Feb. 6.