The VACU River City Half & 5k is nearing sellout! Register today >

Sports Backers Blog

Superlatives and Awards Recognize Fitness Warriors Going Above and Beyond

By: Tiffany Copeland, Director of Fitness Warriors

In late June, Fitness Warriors from across the region came together to celebrate the hard work and accomplishments of the past 12 months. Keeping true to the traditions of our Annual Warrior Nation Celebration, Warriors were honored for their continued work in the community and willingness to be the change.

Part of this year’s gathering included recognizing one Warrior with the Raymond D. Patterson Award. This award goes to the Warrior who best exemplifies the spirit of the late Raymond D. Patterson by demonstrating a true heart for the community and going above and beyond for their class participants, even if they tend to be overlooked because they are just doing it all out of the goodness of their heart.

Choosing just one Warrior to receive the Raymond D. Patterson Award is always a daunting task because these qualities are true of so many of our volunteers, but there was one Warrior who consistently stood out: Taimani Scott. As a member for the first class of Fitness Warriors, Taimani has been there since the beginning. She is a vital part of building the program and has continued to serve Warriors and recruits seven years later!

Taimani Scott poses with her plaque for the Raymond D. Patterson Award

Taimani Scott

“Taimani will often describe her introduction into the Fitness Warrior program as thinking it was a competition. Taimani’s competitive spirit set her on a path to become the best Warrior in the room,” says Ricky Martin, lead trainer of the Fitness Warriors, of Taimani’s path with the Warriors. “Not only did she perform physically, but as a novice trainer she quickly caught on to the science of developing class designs, training across fitness levels and making routines fun, safe and effective. In the African and Indigenous peoples’ tradition, family is the cornerstone of the community. Being able to raise a family and still offer yourself to the community takes both a fit body and spirit.”

Taimani, also known as Tee, is often seen in classes supporting her Warriors and training days sharing her knowledge, usually with her son by her side. This Warrior Mama believes in the mission of Sports Backers and is a living testament that great people do exist.

Taimani Scott and her fellow Fitness Warriors pose during an outdoor class

Taimani Scott and class participants

“Taimani often greets you with a smile and is a Warrior that has done it all, leading classes in-person, outdoor, and on Zoom,” says Jacki Quinlan, Director of Community Outreach for Sports Backers and a past Director of Fitness Warriors. “She has poured herself into Warriors from class two through 10. Tee is an all-around go getter.”

With such longevity, we know Taimani Scott’s amazing work has positively impacted so many in the Fitness Warriors community and we hope that you will join us in celebrating her! Thank you Tee for being you, continually showing up for the community and for pouring into the Fitness Warriors program.

Superlative Winners for 2021-2022

We would be remiss if we did not share with you our superlative winners for the year:

It takes a selfless mentality to be a Team Player. These people are always supporting fellow Warriors – subbing in to lead classes when needed, attending classes, and going above and beyond to promote the Fitness Warrior program.

Team Player Recipients
  • LaToya Kelley
  • Taimani Scott
  • Eboni Washington
  • Louise Lockett- Gordon
  • Phonecia Hill
  • Tazashia Wilson
  • Laurel Gegory

Energizer Bunnies just seem to never lose energy. They just keep on going . . . and going . . and going! They make a major impact in the health of our community because of their endless positive energy.

Energizer Bunny Recipients
  • Elicia Gordon
  • Jada Wade
  • Danielle “Dee” Saunders
  • DeAndra Lee
  • Kathy Brown
  • Arlene Cary

Big Wig superlative winners motivate a variety of people to come to their classes each week and have built a strong following. Because of their BIG classes they are helping large numbers of people improve their health, which is the goal of the Fitness Warriors program.

Big Wig Recipients
  • Arlene Cary
  • Sherina Gilpin
  • Jada Wade
  • Shervonda Sims
  • Chantel “CT” Turner
  • Theresa Caldwell

Warrior M.D. recipients help create Major Differences (M.D.) in the health outcomes of their participants. They achieve this by helping individuals lose weight, rely less on medications, or use fitness as a way to overcome adversity. Because of them, their class participants are living an overall healthier lifestyle.

Warrior M.D. Recipients
  • Jan Mathis- Mizell
  • Arlene Cary
  • Darrell Taylor
  • Kathy Brown
  • Andrea Boozer
  • Rebecca Ingram

Morale Booster recipients help to uplift their fellow Warriors and the community at large. Often looked at as the comforter of the group, these individuals know that you can’t pour from an empty cup and are here to lift you up when you need it!

Morale Booster Recipients
  • Jan Matis- Mizell
  • Laurel Gregory
  • Jacki Davis
  • Darrell Taylor
  • Thomas Bland Jr.
  • Marica Moore

If you are ready to experience the energy that the Warriors bring we encourage you to join us for a class Monday – Saturday at locations throughout the Richmond region, or virtually on Zoom. And you can always keep up with the Fitness Warriors on social media by following @RVAFitnessWarriors or online at


Leave a Reply