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Sports Backers Blog

Over 180 Local Organizations Receive Active RVA Certification

Over 180 local organizations were honored for their innovative efforts at supporting active living during Sports Backers’ eighth-annual Active RVA Awards. 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 Dr. Christina Stasiuk, the Mid-Atlantic Market Executive for Cigna, and the Honorable Leslie Haley, Chair of the Chesterfield County Board of Supervisors. Dr. Stasiuk was the Keynote Speaker for the Summit and Haley spoke during the Active RVA Awards ceremony.

The Hon. Leslie Haley

The Hon. Leslie Haley

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 141 area schools and early childhood education centers and 45 companies. Also announced during the Active RVA Awards was the Richmond Region Fitness Scorecard, with the region earning a grade of B-.

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 Dutch Gap Relic River Boardwalk in Chesterfield County, which includes over 500 feet of both floating and elevated boardwalk that is fully accessible, and features a canoe and kayak launch for recreation, exercise, and wildlife observation.

The Changemaker Award, given to an individual or organization dedicated to creating and supporting a healthy environment for residents of all ages, went to Nathan Burrell of the Virginia Department for Conservation and Recreation. Prior to taking a position within state government, Burrell spent 17 years with the James River Park System, where he worked tirelessly to build more trails, increase programming, grow the operational budget, and build support from groups and volunteers to make the James River Park System the amazing asset that it is for the entire region.

Richmond Region Fitness Scorecard: B- 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 daysRichmond Region Fitness Scorecard
  • 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

The Richmond Region showed improvement in the past year in several key target areas, including the percentage of residents in excellent or very good health and the percentage of residents engaged in physical activity or exercise over the past 30 days, which helped lead to an overall grade of B- for the year.

The data points to incremental movements for community health and fitness in the Richmond Region. Despite these improvements, the Region is still struggling in several other categories and improvement is still needed to make progress towards exceeding the target goals. Richmond is striving to be in the top 10 percent in the country in the measured personal health indicators.

Active RVA Certification for Companies, Schoolsand Early Childhood Education Centers

Active RVA AwardSports 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. 141 area schools and early childhood education centers and 45 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.

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