Danville Parks and Recreation’s Fit Mobile program was recognized during last week’s Health Summit hosted by the Health Collaborative for its continued efforts to improve the region’s health.
“We are proud of this program and its commitment to our mission to see Danville happy and healthy,” said Department Director Bill Sgrinia.
During the Health Summit, six Thrive! Awards were presented to organizations throughout Danville, Pittsylvania County and Caswell County, recognizing efforts, whether a program, policy, or place, designed to positively influence the area’s health.
Fit Mobile is a collaboration between Parks and Recreation, Averett University, Virginia Cooperative Extension, Danville Regional Housing Authority, and PATH’s and Gateway Health community health workers designed to address barriers to participation in health and wellness programs by providing on-site fitness and nutrition classes taught by personal training and sport management students from the university in exchange for college credit.
In its first year, students provided 12 weeks of fitness and nutrition classes in three neighborhoods for more than 225 adults and 350 children. Participants logged nearly 300,000 steps and more than 1,000 pushups during 160-plus hours of classes equaling more than $5,000 of in-kind services.
“What we have found through community input sessions and conversations with our participants is that the desire to improve overall health is there but barriers such as transportation and finances can often limit participation,” Parks and Recreation Community Recreation Division Director Jason Bookheimer said. “The idea behind Fit Mobile is to take the program into the community.”
Parks and Recreation staff worked alongside Averett professors and students to develop class curriculums while providing transportation and training for the college students and coordinating class schedules with the communities; sites included Cardinal Village, Pleasant View, and Stonewall Recreation Center.
“Participation was great,” said program coordinator Danielle Montague. “The students did an amazing job not only teaching, but also encouraging all of our participants. We hope that as we continue the program into this school year, participation numbers will grow as will the program’s impact.”
The Thrive Initiative is a year-round program that supports and highlights organizations and community groups throughout the Dan River Region that are working to improve the health of our community. The Thrive Awards are a time to celebrate the success of the organizations and individuals who have been improving our community’s health.