It’s not every day that students receive a surprise visit from professional football players while at school but Thursday, February 3rd, was such a day for more than 70 students at Harriet Tubman Charter School. Unbeknownst to Tubman students, the school was selected by the New Orleans Saints and UnitedHealthcare to be the new home of a Youth Fitness Zone, a fitness room designed to provide additional strength training, cardio, and other fitness opportunities to students and staff. 

UnitedHealthcare’s Christine O’Brien, Crescent City Schools CEO Kate Mehok, Sir Saint, Tubman Principal Zondra Howard, and Saints Community Relations Manager Jason Lapouble celebrate the Fit Zone unveiling.

“Harriet Tubman Charter School now owns the 5th Fit Zone room that the Saints have created in a New Orleans school,” shared Matt Webb, New Orleans Saints Vice President of Corporate Partnerships.

“Our hope in building these rooms for schools is that students get excited about fitness early on in life and establish healthy habits from a young age. UnitedHealthcare and the Saints chose Tubman to receive this Fit Zone because it was so clear to us that the school’s principal, Ms. Zondra Howard, as well as the network leadership, would value and utilize this resource on behalf of Tubman students and staff. ”

The Fit Zone features rowing machines, weights, an elliptical trainer, Bosu training balls, and treadmills, and all equipment was donated by the Saints organization and UnitedHealthcare. 

Saints player Payton Turner helps a Tubman student navigate the new treadmill in the Fit Zone. Photo credit Tatiana Lubanko/New Orleans Saints.

Christine O’Brien, UnitedHealthcare’s Executive Director for Louisiana and Mississippi, was also present to help unveil the Fit Room. 

“UnitedHealthcare recognizes that regular physical activity helps kids and teens with healthy growth and development, build strong bones and muscles, improve balance and develop skills, and maintain and develop flexibility. By providing this Get Fit Youth Fitness Zone, UnitedHealthcare and the New Orleans Saints are doing our part to ensure that all children get the guidance they need to get fit. It is gratifying to know that this new Get Fit Fit Zone will help improve the health of these students,” said O’Brien.

The GET FIT Youth Fitness Zone at Harriet Tubman Charter School.

Saints players Nick Vannett, Payton Turner, and Will Clapp came to Tubman, not only to celebrate the completion of the Fit Zone room but to also get in on the action. The 70 students in attendance were broken up into groups, which then allowed them to rotate through a variety of fitness stations run by both the Saints players and members of the Saints cheer team. Sir Saint was also on hand to keep students motivated as they carried out their drills and tried out the new equipment in the Fit Zone. 

To see additional photos of the Fit Zone room itself as well as the event celebrating its unveiling, click here