All proceeds after event expenses go to the Vermont Governor's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports to promote physical fitness through development of services and programs, sponsoring activities, recognizing outstanding achievement, stimulating research, and initiating advertising campaigns.
The Vermont Governor's Council on Physical Fitness & Sports gives funds to community groups through a grant program called Exercise Is Medicine Community Wellness Grants. These grants are guided by the principles of Exercise is Medicine (EIM), a global health initiative led by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM). EIM is committed to the belief that physical activity plays an integral role in the prevention, treatment and management of chronic diseases and should therefore be considered and promoted as a vital sign of health. EIM not only strives to integrate physical activity into healthcare but also seeks to link patients to community resources with the ultimate goal of implementing interventions that will slow, stop, and reverse the progression of chronic diseases.
In 2017, the council distributed $6000.00 among three groups to develop new initiatives for improving health and fitness:
1. The City of Rutland Recreation and Parks Department received a grant to implement a Learn-to-Bike lending program. The grant paid for bicycles for adults, children and preschoolers and helps provide lessons for those in the community who would like to learn or re-learn how to ride a bike in a non-threatening environment. The bikes are being used this month for learn-to-ride events in Wallingford, Pittsford, Brandon and Rutland. The department aims to increase the number of bike riders from all age groups.
2. The Community Health Center of Burlington (CHCB) received a grant to pilot an exercise and healthy lifestyle educational walking group for patients at high risk for chronic diseases. The 6-week program will provide an opportunity for CHCB patients to form social connections while walking and learning about the benefits and importance of maintaining an exercise routine.
3. The Pride Center of VT received funds to provide trauma-informed yoga classes to LGBTQ community members, many of whom are survivors of violence. The Pride Center hopes to increase the number of LGBTQ individuals who engage in yoga while healing their trauma in a safe space.
In 2018, the council distributed $15,000.00 among four groups to develop new initiatives for improving health and fitness:
1. Community Health Centers of Burlington, for trauma informed yoga classes, particularly for the refugee population.
2. Edgar May of Springfield, for "Move to Improve" program. These are free, fitness classes provided in non-intimidating environment for citizens with physical limitations. The classes will use special resistance bands that connect to chairs, that can be transported to residential sites.
3. Essex Junction Parks and Recreation, for a snowshoe loan program to encourage citizens to be active in winter.
4. Parks Place of Bellows Falls, for subsidizing registration fees for children in lower income homes to participate in recreation and sports.
In addition, the council gave $10,000.00 to the Vermont Senior Games for the purpose of making the games more inclusive so that more seniors can participate in the competitions.
The council also gave $3,000.00 to Move for Wellbeing, a noncompetitive program that encourages seniors to be more physically active, apart from competing in the games.
For more information, please visit GCPFS website.