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Sports Backers Blog

Over 170 Organizations Receive Active RVA Certification for Activity Programs

RICHMOND, VA – Over 170 local organizations were honored for their innovative efforts at supporting active living during the seventh-annual Active RVA Awards presented by Cigna. The awards took place in conjunction with the Movement Makers Active Living Summit held at the Virginia Museum of History and Culture. Keynote speakers for the Summit included Pamela Northam, First Lady of the Commonwealth of Virginia, and Will Turner and Courtney Paulk, both record-setting endurance athletes and Richmond business leaders.

During the Active RVA Awards, Dr. Danny Avula, Director of the Richmond City Health District and Henrico County Department of Health, shared a message on the importance of community involvement and collaboration in creating healthy communities and addressing chronic disease through physical activity initiatives.

The Active RVA Awards recognize organizations throughout the Richmond region that create a culture of daily physical activity and encourage active lifestyles. This year’s awards honored 134 area schools and early childhood education centers and 42 companies. Also announced during the Active RVA Awards was the Richmond Region Fitness Scorecard, with the region earning a grade of C+.

In addition to honoring certified companies and schools, Active RVA presented its Infrastructure Award and Changemaker Award. The Infrastructure Award, which recognizes a project with a positive impact on the active living infrastructure of the region, went to the Swift Creek Trails at Pocahontas State Park, which have helped make the Richmond region one of the top mountain biking destinations in the country.

The Changemaker Award, given to an individual or organization dedicated to creating and supporting a healthy environment for residents of all ages, went to the late Cynthia Piazza, a Wellness Integrator for Greater Richmond Fit4Kids and driving force for physical activity and running initiatives for youth and adults in Hopewell and Chesterfield. She passed away after a fight with brain cancer in November 2018, and the award was accepted in her honor by her husband, Michael.

Richmond Region Fitness Scorecard: C+ grade

The data points used for the scorecard calculation are a combination of data compiled by the Virginia Department of Health, Centers for Disease Control, and U.S. Census, as well as the current inventory of paved, multi-use bike trails and lanes in the Richmond region, as measured and compiled by Sports Backers’ staff. The data used includes the following (applies to adult population unless otherwise noted):

  • Percent any physical activity or exercise in the last 30 days
  • Percent meeting CDC aerobic activity guidelines
  • Percent meeting both CDC aerobic and strength activity guidelines
  • Percent in excellent or very good health
  • Percent with diabetes
  • Percent obese
  • Percent with angina or coronary heart disease
  • Percent bicycling or walking to work
  • Miles of paved multi-use trails and bike lanes in the Richmond region

A weight was assigned to each data point, and the Richmond Region’s data scores were then divided by the target goal for each indicator (or in cases where it is better to have a score that is equal to or lower than the target goal, the target goal was divided by Richmond’s score). The resulting number was then multiplied by the assigned weight for that indicator to reach an overall score for that category. The category scores were combined to reach the overall physical activity score for the Richmond region. This scorecard is produced annually as a way to measure and celebrate the community’s goals and achievements.

Active RVA Certification for companies, schoolsand early childhood education centers

Sports Backers established the Active RVA certification and awards program to recognize the region’s exceptional employers and schools that are implementing innovative programs to promote physical activity. 134 area schools and early childhood education centers and 42 companies were recognized for earning Active RVA certification, serving as role models in the community. All recognized companies, schools, and early childhood education centers took home a commemorative plaque. The full list of certified companies can be found here, and the full list of certified schools and early childhood education centers is available here.