DAPHNE, Ala. – After experiencing firsthand the difficulties of a personal battle with cancer, United States Sports Academy alumnus Robb Bolton is using his Academy education to benefit the lives of cancer survivors in Southern California.
A resident of Newbury Park, Calif., Bolton earned his Master of Sports Science degree in sports management from the Academy in 2007. He is the founder and CEO of Cancer Fit, a non-profit organization that provides free exercise and wellness programs, education and resources for adult and childhood cancer survivors in Southern California.
Along with his work at Cancer Fit, Bolton is the associate director of campus recreation at Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif. At Pepperdine, Bolton works with students, faculty and staff to achieve their fitness and health goals. He will also work to assist Pepperdine as it builds a new and improved recreation facility.
Bolton said his sports-only Academy degree gave him an edge in the competitive business market in Southern California. The Academy’s online options also allowed him to study at his own pace while juggling his work and family life.
“The Academy has played a huge role in allowing me to achieve the professional success I have had and continue to achieve,” Bolton said. “I was a single father working full-time when I began and the online option allowed me to continue my education and build my resume by achieving a Master’s degree, which has without a doubt given me the edge on my competitors in the job market.
“The sports focus of the Academy has served me well as the career path I have chosen has been in a very competitive market here in Southern California,” he said. “Without the online option I would not have been able to achieve my goal of getting a master’s degree. I am very thankful and also grateful the Academy has such a great reputation. My educational experience was challenging, rewarding and fulfilling.”
Bolton founded Cancer Fit in 2012 after he and his wife, Elle, had personal battles with cancer.
“The initial idea was to offer programs for child cancer survivors to help with their physical recovery after cancer and to encourage them to get active through exercise and recreation so they could re-engage with their peers and hopefully resume some normalcy in their lives,” Bolton said.
“Additionally, we were looking to offset some of the potential negative long term health and psychosocial side effects from treatment. Once the adult cancer support community in our area heard about our work using exercise and wellness intervention programs, they sought us out to offer similar programs for adults and thus that arm of our nonprofit began.
“My wife and I love being able to share our passion for exercise and wellness while benefiting a population that has a great need and can benefit tremendously through exercise and nutrition support.
“Having a positive influence on the quality of life and helping cancer survivors take back some control over their health and wellness through exercise has been extremely rewarding and probably my greatest professional accomplishment,” Bolton said.
“We have had so many inspiring participants and we have seen some incredible life changes. We witnessed the healing of the children who we have seen through such dark and scary times who are now thriving playing sports. Knowing we played a role in their lives and helped encourage and guide them back into an active lifestyle has been amazing.”
Bolton is a lifelong athlete, having played soccer in college at California Lutheran University, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in sports medicine. He has competed in sprint kayaking, Koei-Kan Karate, downhill ski racing, wrestling, baseball and track and field.
The United States Sports Academy is an independent, non-profit, accredited, special mission sports university created to serve the nation and world with programs in instruction, research and service. The role of the Academy is to prepare men and women for careers in the profession of sports.
The Academy is based in Daphne, Ala. For more information, call (251) 626-3303 or visit www.ussa.edu.