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Sports are fun, health and fitness are important; set your goals then make them priorities

The winter holiday season is my favorite time of the year. I think many people would agree with me on this statement. However, my reasons for loving this time of year may differ slightly from most. I love the holiday cheer, the time with family, and the kindness that seems to come with the season. But to me, this time of year means so much more.

I’ve spent the last 23 years coaching basketball and teaching exercise and fitness. The winter holiday season, more so than any other time of year, reminds me of the value of sport and fitness.

We all know what comes with the holiday season — lots of eating, drinking, and being merry. For me, and many others, part of being merry involves watching sports. It may be watching your children or family members play in a holiday tournament. It may be the annual Thanksgiving football games that many people watch on television. Among my personal favorites are the countless college football bowl games.

Chad Jones is a professor of exercise and sports science and head women’s basketball coach at Lincoln Land Community College.Chad Jones is a professor of exercise and sports science and head women’s <a href=basketball coach at Lincoln Land Community College.” src=”https://s.yimg.com/ny/api/res/1.2/ckwrDOGUaYm_LZJS6HtAXA–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTEyNDI7aD0xODYz/https://media.zenfs.com/en/aol_gannett_aggregated_707/368853b68561aec2dd456b12e589cf4b” class=”caas-img”/

Chad Jones is a professor of exercise and sports science and head women’s basketball coach at Lincoln Land Community College.

Whatever it may be, sport brings us together in ways few other things can. As a college basketball coach, I spend countless hours in gyms over the holiday season. I am amazed yearly at the support given to local high school athletes. I love hearing the stories of “back in the day” that go with the tradition of holiday tournament play. I remember my own experience as a player like it was yesterday. To me, and many others, the holiday season and sports go hand in hand.

This time of year also brings about a focus on health and fitness. We all know

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‘Understanding where we fit in’: Princeton’s growing veteran community spans borders

“​​I knew I wanted to go to college,” Hadi Kamara ’26 said. “Among the ways to leave home and simultaneously pursue my education, the military seemed to be the best option.”

The 22-year-old served in the United States Air Force from 2019–2022, while simultaneously enrolled in community college in his hometown of Alexandria, Va. Afterward, he enrolled at Princeton through its transfer program.

The number of veteran undergraduates has increased in recent years. There was just a single veteran in the class of 2016; as of 2021, Princeton had 26 veteran undergraduates, comprising roughly 0.5 percent of the total undergraduate student population. Princeton University is now ranked fourth in the nation among the “Best Schools for Veterans,” according to U.S. News

The increase in undergraduate veterans is partially due to the University’s reinstatement of its transfer program in 2018 after almost 30 years without it. As Dr. Keith Shaw, the University’s Director of Transfer, Veteran, and Non-Traditional Student Programs, puts it, “Scaling the [transfer] program means inviting more student veterans, more community college transfers, and more adult learners and students with families, thereby enriching Princeton with a wider range of perspectives and life experiences.”

As an active duty Airman enrolled in community college, Kamara had to balance the physical rigor and time demands of his service with the schedule of a full-time student. 

“It wasn’t uncommon for us to work 12, 13, 14-hour shifts. And then I’d have to come back home and knock out schoolwork,” Kamara explained. 

When he was deployed in Germany, a six-hour time difference made his studies more challenging.

“A class scheduled for 8 p.m. on the East Coast would be at 2 o’clock in the morning in Europe,” he said.

It was uncommon among Kamara’s unit for service members to be simultaneously

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