Petersburg residents receive free sports equipment at fitness event
PETERSBURG – Due to the pandemic, the Petersburg Half Marathon and 5K did not take place last Saturday. With great caution, the current city tour in the most historic districts of Petersburg had to be postponed.
The scenic route offers views of Old Towne Petersburg, rural Petersburg, Blandford Cemetery, Underground Railroad Houses, Trapezium House, and Pocahontas Island.
Participants looking forward to witnessing a re-enactment of the battle by running, walking or jogging through the Petersburg National Battlefield will need to be patient. All registrations for the Petersburg Half Marathon and 5K will automatically move to the new race date of Saturday April 9, 2022.
“Get Fit Petersburg Market”
“Our annual ‘Get Fit Petersburg Market’ was created to complement the Petersburg Half Marathon and 5K,” said Cheryl Bursch, Director of the River Street Market. “Although the marathon was canceled, our partners provided wonderful demonstrations, donations and resources.”
In addition to the usual roster of farmers, food manufacturers, artisans and market artisans, the event included activities related to fitness.
The Petersburg Family YMCA offered exercise demonstrations from their popular classes such as Zumba, HIIT [High Intensity Interval Training] Stretching and Tai Chi.
The Greater Richmond Fit4Kids nonprofit which is dedicated to improving the health of children and reducing the prevalence of childhood obesity in the Richmond area was on hand and offered registration to “Pick Your Play in May ”. Subscribers were given the opportunity to enter to try and win an Ultimate Play package. Visit grfit4kids.org for more information.
The Petersburg Cavaliers made a special appearance and shared with marketers how to support and follow their team.
Finally, Self Dreams LLC and Little Creek Kung Fu shared information about their programs and gave away free fitness equipment and clothing acquired from blood drives.
The Giveaway event attracts all ages
“The biggest surprise for us was that every last item was taken,” said Little Creek Kung Fu-ordained Taoist priest owner Alex Bechtold. “Because the event was so unique, we haven’t had any personal experience with anything like this.”
Bechtold and those involved in the outreach program did not know anyone who had organized an event like this before. Therefore, there was no way for them to predict the response they were going to get from the “Get Fit Petersburg Market”.
“When we started announcing that we were asking for donations, we thought we would probably have information from people interested in having some of what we raised,” Bechtold said. “It never happened; people kept contacting us to offer us something, but no one has yet asked us when and where things will be given.
“Because of this, we started to get very nervous that everything we collected was totally junk,” Bechtold added. “Making our situation worse, we didn’t know we had enough material to donate, so we didn’t do any big publicity campaigns.”
According to Bechtold, they hoped to find the right people through their little word of mouth campaigns.
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“These types of marketing strategies don’t offer a lot of feedback, so we had become very nervous as the date of the event approached,” Bechtold said.
After setting up Bechtold and his team of humanitarians, they realized that they had indeed raised enough to make the tables appear full and inviting. Their stress quickly turned into relief.
“When the market opened, we had an initial rush of people who had been specifically drawn to our event,” said Bechtold. “That’s when we saw some of the bulkier, bulkier items pull away… two bikes and a bench press machine. These were the things that worried us the most, but we’ve learned that it’s true … people want access to sports, fitness and recreation equipment. ”
The event was a raffle for kids looking for bikes and hoops, buff young men interested in heavy free weights, seniors wanting to add ankle or wrist weights to their walking routine, and Moreover.
“I think it’s a good thing,” said Lucinda Patterson of Petersburg while holding her new ball from Bosu. “We need things like this to keep our community healthy.”
People share stories
“Almost everyone has told us a little story, something about not having money, wishing they could offer something for their child, or being totally inexperienced with exercise,” Bechtold said. . “They were worried about what they could use; we were able to explain how the equipment works or what kinds of things allow a person with knee pain or wrist pain to use the various things we have.
Bechtold said the event opened the door for people who would otherwise stay at home without access to the equipment or knowledge of its use. He also pointed out that outdoor fitness and recreation are not just for one age group and are not limited to a specific demographic.
“The most interesting psychological study of the event was that of the eight basketballs available, the brand new in the box was the last,” said Bechtold. “It’s always very touching to see someone who is already in need, thinking of others first. It’s really beautiful to see.”
Equipment finds new homes
By the last half hour of the gift, they were just a handful of hoops and resistance bands. And, when the market closed, everything was headed for a new home.
“It was no small task, we probably had 40 hoops to start, plus basketballs, 555 pounds of weight, the bench press machine, two bikes, sports bottles, yoga mats, bags. , lacrosse equipment, baseball gloves, a Bosu ball, pickleball equipment, packages of various plates and bars, countless amounts of clothing and other small items, ”Bechtold said. “It was a lot of diverse equipment, and each item found someone excited to start using them.
“This event was a good reminder for us – who live in the world of materialism – that it’s not only what people lack, but also access to education on how to use it. And some may be experiencing a low point due to the pandemic, ”Bechtold said. “A lot of people were going to the YMCA, another local gym, with a friend, or training with us at Little Creek Kung Fu just because they didn’t know what to do at home.”
Many people who donated fitness equipment for the event admitted to Bechtold purchasing the items but were unsure how to use them. Another memorable moment at the Giveaway for Bechtold event was meeting a 17 year old boy who decided to build a home gym to get a head start.
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“Having the time and money to devote to exercise is a real luxury, I hope we can continue to provide some relief for the health and well-being of our city and its people,” said Bechtold. “Healthy people make strong, resilient and uplifting communities, but our society has very little interest, knowledge, or access to taking charge of its health; that’s exactly what we want to change. “
For more information on Little Creek Kung Fu’s community outreach programs, email [email protected]
River Street Market is open Saturday mornings from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at 30 River Street in Old Towne Petersburg, opposite the iconic Farmers Market building. Sign up for weekly reminders and emails on Riverstreetmarket.com, and follow them on Instagram and Facebook.
For additional questions or concerns regarding the Petersburg Half Marathon and 5K, contact Race Director Jason Miller at (305) 582-9680 or email [email protected]
Read this story online at progress-index.com to view video footage from the “Get Fit Petersburg Market”.
Kristi K. Higgins, aka The Social Butterfly, is the Food News and Q&A reporter at The Progress-Index. Got a tip on trends or local businesses? Contact Kristi (her, her) at [email protected], follow @KHiggins_PI on Twitter, and subscribe to progress-index.com.