Pioneer Health and Performance Unveils New Nutrition Station
The University of Denver Division of Athletics and Recreation’s Pioneer Health and Performance has opened a brand new nutrition station in the Pat Bowlen Training Center inside the Daniel L. Ritchie Center for Sports and Wellness, Associate Athletic Director for Pioneer Health and Performance Julie Campbell announced on Wednesday.
“It’s a pleasure to create and launch the Pioneer Health and Performance Nutrition Station to fuel and hydrate DU student-athletes,” Campbell said. “This elevates our ability to positively impact all of our sports programs and student-athletes to benefit sport performance and holistic well-being. We are fortunate to have generous partners that have made this initiative possible for DU Athletics and Recreation.”
The Division of Athletics and Recreation held a soft opening on Tuesday with members of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, coaches, members of the Pioneer Health and Performance staff and major donors that contributed to make this new nutrition station a possibility for DU’s student-athletes.
Closet Factory CEO Mark Lestikow (BSBA ’75), and his wife and company president, Polly, are the lead donors that helped make this Pioneer Health and Performance Nutrition Station possible. Polly designed, and the Closet Factory team manufactured and installed, the cabinetry that stores and displays the numerous nutritional food items to help fuel the athletes.
“I met [Associate Vice Chancellor for External Affairs] Brandon Macneill and he told me about their idea to do a nutrition center,” Polly Lestikow said. “I replied back to him ‘you know we are big supporters of DU, but what you don’t know is my undergraduate degree is in food, science and nutrition, and I was a registered dietitian for 20 years. So I’d love to help you with this project.’ It’s been really fun to be here today because so many of the students and coaches have shown such great gratitude for our contribution. The coaches are grateful that their kids can have [access to] good food, and we witnessed the soccer players grabbing food right after their practice, so [being here] is very gratifying.”
This nutrition station aims to provide student-athletes with convenient access to unlimited, nutritious food, which is optimal for athletes maximizing their energy, performance and recovery. The setup inside the Pat Bowlen Training Center also provides student-athletes the opportunity to better balance time demands between classes, practices and lifts.
“We can’t thank Mark and Polly enough for their continued support. They have been wonderful supporters of DU over the years and this is just another example of their philanthropy,” Macneill said. “Polly also provided us with a wealth of knowledge and advice as we put this project together.”
The University of Denver would like to thank its corporate sponsors: Closet Factory, Honey Stinger, Meadow Gold Dairy/Dean Foods and Pepsi Cola/Gatorade for their continued support in making this vision a reality at DU.
An additional feature to the new nutrition station includes a hydration station. Campbell’s staff worked with University of Denver Sustainability Coordinator Chad King on making this campus-wide initiative part of the nutrition station to provide student-athletes easy access to fill up water bottles to support DU’s environmentally friendly movement.