From left: Megan Moenoa, Chuckie Miller and Ashley Helton. Photo courtesy of Better Bodies Fitness Center.
Former NFL player and Poly High graduate Chuckie Miller has teamed up with Long Beach native and nationally-recognized former athlete Megan Moenoa to provide affordable athletic training for the athletes of the competitive youth volleyball club Mizuno Long Beach City.
Starting Sunday, July 9, Miller, at his Cal Heights-based business Better Bodies Fitness Center, with performance specialist Ashley Helton, will provide twice-a-week fitness training for athletes attending Mizuno LBC’s summer camp.
Moenoa, the Mizuno LBC club director, hopes to give her players equal opportunity to develop as athletes, despite any financial difficulties.
“Sports is one of the only things that puts you on an even playing field and if you have access to the same things that other people have then you have equal opportunity,” Moenoa said. “This collaboration with give them access to something they wouldn't have access to because of how expensive it is. I’m just trying put our athletes on an even playing field.”
At Better Bodies, the campers will focus on improving their speed, power, strength, running mechanics and other fundamental athletic qualities that could give an athlete that extra edge to bring them to the next level and improve their overall performance.
“[G]rowing up [in the] 70s and 80s there was nothing like this,” Miller said. “We basically learned on our own. Now there’s a bunch of camps, Nike camps, individual trainers that are training these kids and you don't want your kid to be left behind. So that's the reason for this camp, to develop into the best player you can develop into, for a scholarship.”
This type of training can be an expensive commodity, according to Miller, and parents of youth athletes have been known to pay big bucks to have their children participate in similar athletic camps or hire personal trainers in order to give their children an advantage over their peers. Through this collaboration, Better Bodies and Mizuno LBC hope to provide a similar experience for children who can’t afford high-end prices.
“Our mission is to make it affordable,” Helton said. “A lot of these types of camps are really expensive to go to, even if it’s just a month. Our mission is to make it affordable for kids and give them the same knowledge you would if you went to a Nike camp.”
All of the profits that Better Bodies receives from the camp will be donated to Miller’s nonprofit for fighting childhood obesity called Kids Fitness: Say Yes to Life. After the camp, Better Bodies will continue to work with Mizuno LBC with Miller and his team exclusively training the club’s athletes.