Active Places: Awards 5 WV Communities

Active SWV supports safe, accessible, and free physical activity.

The grant funds are intended to support safe places for people to be active for free. The awardee agrees to provide access to a volunteer Community Captain to lead a physical activity on their property on a weekly basis for free. The $1,000 grant funds can be used to help offset the costs with utilities, cleaning, security, and supplies for the public to access. Visit the full calendar of free activities here. 

Five community organizations or agencies have been awarded in 2022. 
Awardee: Sprouting Farms, Summers County 

Sprouting Farms became a partner with Active SWV in 2019 with an interest in providing free physical activity programs on their property. Community Captain Adam Craig offered monthly yoga in the greenhouse this winter and spring. Farm walks are currently being offered. The grant funds will help to purchase exercises equipment; jump ropes, yoga mates, pedometers, water bottles, hoola hoops, and frisbees. “We will use equipment for our yoga classes, farm walks, kids’ events, and free giveaways to the community at our Community Captain events,” shares Beth Villars. 

Awardee: Raleigh County Parks and Recreation 

“The Community Captain Program is facilitating training to volunteers in the community to provide services to the public. These services range in activity, location, and skill level. Community Captains are held to high standards of customer service and are valued for their commitment to the organization and the wellness of the community. This is a complex program,” explains Molly Williams, Director of Raleigh County Parks and Recreation. 

Join Community Captain Jeri Knowlton for yoga at Lake Stephens. Follow her Facebook group page here


Awardee: Smither’s Gateway Center, Fayette County 

Mayor Anne Cavalier is working hard to improve the quality of life in the upper Kanawha Valley are. Ready more about her in the highlight  blog.

Anne has been working with Active SWV to remove the common barriers of cost and experience for people in Smithers by providing space and volunteers to have programs offered weekly.  

Mayor Cavalier would love to encourage her community to come out and enjoy the free programs she has been working so hard to make available in Smithers. She states that life is more interesting when you are fit and feeling well.  “I believe there is an activity for everyone, we each just need to find the one we enjoy.”

Awardee: Raleigh County Community Action Association 

RCCAA has maintained an open door for free programming since 2018. They currently host our largest and most consistent Community Captain program, Beckley REFIT. You are invited to join a dance or two and we guarantee it will make you feel good!  

“Active Southern West Virginia Community Captain Program encourages healthy and active lifestyles in fun and accepting atmosphere. First-time leaders design classes, routines, and activities to engage the community in partaking in exercise without bias based on weight, size, shape, attire, knowledge, political or religious views, income, or ability. By taking the “fear of judgment or criticism” out of the group exercise equation, this program aims to make healthy living and activity more accessible. Activities are diverse and incorporate everything from hiking and stand-up paddle boarding to water aerobics and tai chi.”

Awardee: Fayette County Parks and Recreation

Over the years, the park has provided a venue for water aerobics, pickle ball, walking groups, youth summer camp, and fitness classes in partnership with Active SWV. These public parks are intended to be healthy resources for the residents and offer an open door to volunteer Community Captains for future activity options. 

“Without these important leaders the opportunity to try out a large variety of new activities would not exist for many in this region. Not only are the community captains facilitating wonderful programming but they are also foster relationships. Relationships between people as well as relationships people and place that can spur activity and good life choices outside of the programming. Fayette County Park is a proud venue for the community captain lead water aerobics program and hopes to be a continued partner for many years,” shared Abbie Newell, the Fayette County Resource Coordinator. 

View the website calendar here for all the free programs offered by Active SWV with generous venue partners. 

Enter your information here to offer your space for free Community Captain programs. 

Venue Partner Request form here