Former Steeler’s program to help Honor Court veterans with fitness training


A former Pittsburgh Steeler is partnering with the Mahoning County Court of Common Pleas’ Honor Court and the YMCA of Youngstown to help veterans through exercise and personal health.

Adventures in Training with a Purpose, started by former Pittsburgh Steelers lineman and Youngstown State University exercise science instructor Jon Kolb, is a non-profit organization aimed at helping improve the lives of people in vulnerable communities through personal training and social engagement.

Tom Gacse, the president of the YMCA of Youngstown, said he and the YMCA’s board of directors had been looking for a way to help veterans when Mahoning County Auditor Ralph Meacham introduced him to Kolb.

Veterans involved in the Mahoning County Honor Court — a special docket under Judge Anthony D’Apolito for veterans with low-level, non-violent criminal offenses — will have the chance to participate in the program.

Matt O’Dell is one of the trainers at Adventures in Training with a Purpose. A former student of Kolb’s exercise science course at YSU, O’Dell said that the program is more than just fitness training.

“We provide personalized fitness training but we also provide these veterans with a positive social outlet where they can make friends and have an opportunity to build relationships with our trainers and with other participants,” O’Dell said.

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