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Sports Backers Blog

This is how we Keep It Moving

Keep It Moving – it’s the name of our initiative that focuses on increasing opportunities for physical activity in underserved parts of our community and it’s exactly what we’ve been up to these days. We’ve made some changes to how we manage the Fitness Warriors program so that we can now offer year-round training for these community fitness leaders, all in an effort to make a bigger impact on the health and wellness of the communities that we serve.

The 4th Class of Warrior Recruits completed their training on December 2nd and joined the ranks of the 73 Warriors who have come before them. Their commitment to the six-month training process is just the beginning. These 16 Warriors have dedicated their time, talent, and passion to leading free weekly fitness classes in the communities that need them the most. They are building relationships with their class participants, hitting the streets to encourage folks to get moving, and modeling an active lifestyle everywhere they go. A heartfelt Warrior salute goes out to the members of the 4th Class of Warriors:

Andrea Boozer

Whitney Brooks

Robert Candia

Roni Chudoba

Tiffany Copeland

Rasheeda Edmundson

Qudisha Green

Chinary Hall

Maya Harris

Yolanda Jones

Sarah Nave

Jackie Pryor

Beneatha Simmons

Harper Smith

Christopher Tucker

Jean Wood

On January 13th the 5th Class of Warrior Recruits will start their training and by March they will begin leading free fitness classes in the community. The class is comprised of 18 individuals that are ready to take on the challenge of becoming a Warrior. We can’t wait to see the passion they bring to their work in the community and we are ready to equip them with the tools, knowledge, and skills that they will need to be successful in their endeavors.

As we plan for this new class of Warrior Recruits, we reflect on how far we have come and the impact that the program is having on the community. We’ve been soliciting feedback from the host sites where our classes are held, the Warriors who lead the classes, and the participants who choose to work out with us. We’re excited to share with you the results of our evaluation efforts! Click here to see a brief summary of the program evaluation report or click here to access the full report.

And while the Fitness Warriors have been busy doing their thing, our programs that operate within the Next Up after school initiative at Boushall, Brown, and Henderson middle schools in the City of Richmond have been keeping it moving too! In December, the students finished up their first 10-week session with a bang by participating in the Rotary Club’s Nutzy Funn Run 5k and performing in their end-of-session showcases at each school. Our Sports Backers instructors and volunteers at each school have these middle schoolers moving – whether it be dancing, playing dodgeball, running, or doing an interval workout, the idea is to just Keep It Moving! Check out this video to see what “Brown on the Run” has been up to throughout the first session! Still want more? Here is a video of the “Panthers PT” program that was also offered at Brown Middle school during the first session.

As we glance ahead to the first few months of 2018 we are excited to see the Next Up and Fitness Warriors programs continue to thrive. Moreover, we look forward to supporting those who want to participate in the YMCA 10k Training Team but may lack the resources to do so. Did you know that Sports Backers offers a special, income-based rate for the YMCA 10k training team?  That’s right – as a part of our Keep It Moving initiative, we offer a special $10 rate to those who qualify because we believe that everyone deserves access to our training teams. You can learn more about the training team locations and the special rate by clicking here. The 10-week training program starts on February 3rd so don’t delay, sign up today! The best part is, all the Keep It Moving programs come together at the Ukrop’s Monument Avenue 10k on April 14th to celebrate our active community! There will be Fitness Warrior instructors and class participants, Next Up students, and training team participants along with thousands of other Richmonders that are all out to walk, jog, and run their way through the 10k. It may just be one of best ways you can show how you like to Keep It Moving!