Sports Backers Blog

Sports Backers Welcomes New Additions to Staff


RICHMOND, VA –Sports Backers, a non-profit organization dedicated to inspiring residents from all corners of the Richmond community to live actively, is pleased to welcome new staff members Alison Hale, Candace Benn, and Louise Lockett. Alison will serve as Retail Manager, Candace will serve as the Community Fitness Programs Manager, and Louise is Lead Organizer for Sports Backers’ Bike Walk RVA program.

Alison Hale – Retail Manager

Alison Hale joins as Sports Backers’ Retail Manager. She oversees retail sales at all Sports Backers events including the Anthem Richmond Marathon, Ukrop’s Monument Avenue 10k, and Dominion Riverrock. Her duties include managing the organization’s online store and the fulfillment of all online orders, as well as designing, ordering, displaying, and selling all merchandise. Before joining Sports Backers, Alison worked in the retail industry for 11 years as manager for Urban Outfitters and Anthropologie.

Alison stays active by practicing Vinyasa Yoga, gardening, and exploring Richmond’s parks and outdoor attractions with her family, including her two sons. Originally from Hopewell, Alison is a graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University.

Candace Benn – Community Fitness Programs Manager

Candace Benn joins Sports Backers as the Community Fitness Programs Manager. She is responsible for organizing sustainable efforts that increase opportunities for physical activity throughout the Richmond region. Candace coordinates the Sports Backers Fitness Warriors program as well as training teams for the Anthem Richmond Marathon, Markel Richmond Half Marathon, VCU Health 8k, and Ukrop’s Monument Avenue 10k. Her duties include training and managing part-time staff, volunteer coaches, and fitness instructors. Prior to Sports Backers, she worked in school counseling and education for 10 years.

Candace has a master’s degree in counseling and doctorate in education, both from Virginia State University. She is also a graduate of the Fitness Warriors program and now leads free classes with her husband in Hopewell. She enjoys yoga, high-intensity interval training, and spending time outdoors with her two daughters.

Louise Lockett – Bike Walk RVA Lead Organizer

Louise Lockett joins Sports Backers as a Lead Organizer for Bike Walk RVA. She’ll work with Bike Walk RVA’s always-expanding network of grassroots advocates, empowering them to be leaders in the movement toward a walkable, bikeable Richmond region. She’ll also identify, recruit, and develop members of the community into effective advocates for biking and walking, and then work on a daily basis with these “Champions” to build support for bicycle and pedestrian-friendly policies, plans, and projects. Prior to Sports Backers, Louise was a Senior Epidemiologist for the Virginia Department of Health’s Crater Health District. She is a native of Virginia Beach and her father is a retired Navy Senior Chief.

Louise has completed six marathons and has coached running programs for Girls On The Run and Black Girls Run!, as well as training programs for the Ukrop’s Monument Avenue 10k and VCU Health 8k. She is also a Certified Group Fitness Instructor, having graduated in the Third Class of the Fitness Warriors program, and leads a free weekly class in Church Hill.