The Health and Physical Education Club collected over 400 pairs of shoes. For their first shoe drive, this far exceeded their expectations. - Photo courtesy of Trevor Hahn

Rowan’s Health and Physical Education Club recently hosted its inaugural shoe drive and collected 407 pairs of shoes.

The shoe drive was part of the club’s participation in the New Jersey Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (NJAHPERD) Annual Convention, which was held in Long Branch, N.J. on Feb. 23-26.

The convention is an opportunity for those studying health and physical education (HPE) to network with people working in the field, such as teachers, principals and superintendents.

Trevor Hahn, the SGA senator of HPE Club and a senior HPE major, said that the collected donations from Rowan made up half of all shoe donations at the conference, and that they ran into trouble trying to transport so many shoes.

“Originally, we had thought they were coming to pick all the shoes up, and they told us a couple days beforehand…’Yeah, you gotta bring all the shoes to the conference,'” Hahn said. “And we’re like, ‘We’ve got 400….’ Luckily enough, they came and took half and we split up the rest and brought them there.”

HPE Club put their donation collection containers at James Hall, the Rowan Boulevard Fitness Center and PEAC Health and Fitness, the gym where Hahn works.

Though they expected to collect a decent amount of shoes, Hahn said that the donations from this shoe drive exceeded their expectations and that they plan to hold future drives in light of its success.

If the NJAHPERD Convention doesn’t make the shoe drive a part of their meeting next year, HPE Club plans to find out what organization accepted the shoes from this year and continue to collect shoes at Rowan next year.

The club itself is a group for health and physical education majors to build their resumes and to connect with professionals who can help them excel in the field post-graduation.

Hahn said that HPE Club hopes to host its own HPE conference at Rowan in the future, something where professionals working locally in the health and physical education field can connect with HPE students on campus.

The club also hosts several events throughout the year, including rock climbing events in Esbjornson Gym, which are open to any interested students.

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