Superior Fitness partners with area schools to promote fitness with events, equipment donations

Despite kids getting wiggly in their seats as summer vacation neared, some Charlotte area schools, students and their families have learned a little more about getting fit and how fun it can be, thanks to partnerships and an event organized and sponsored by Superior Fitness.

Despite kids getting wiggly in their seats as summer vacation neared, some Charlotte area schools, students and their families have learned a little more about getting fit and how fun it can be, thanks to partnerships and an event organized and sponsored by Superior Fitness.

A city-wide family fitness event at the city's science museum May 17 attracted more than 300 parents and their kids and offered activities at various interactive stations, including exergames and training ideas using other equipment.

"The purpose of the event was to expose families to activities that are fun and can be shared by parents and kids," said Judy Griffin, sales and marketing director for Superior and event organizer.

Not only was the day free for everybody who wanted to come, but fitness equipment companies stepped up with equipment for the event that then became part of activity centers for the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools.

The partnership goes beyond the one-day event, however. It all began in late winter when Superior's owner Paul Harwood and its commercial rep Gina Josey met with Deb Kaclik, who is health and P.E. curriculum director for the 167-school district. A discussion about equipment and the need for well-equipped workout rooms in middle and high schools led them into a brainstorm about how to get more and better equipment that was well-suited for kids, but without spending a lot of money since the schools didn't have it.

Harwood used his industry connections to get 15 X-Bikes from Trixter at a special price to donate to the schools, and Kaclik arranged to have a workout room with the bikes set up at a high school that has more underprivileged attendees as well as at an area alternative high school. Students are even leading their own classes after being trained by Trixter and Superior, Griffin said.

"We wanted to hit a broad range of students that normally might not get exposed to things like this," Griffin said. "In addition to the physical activity applications, this can be used for other subjects like math, reading and leadership. Students learn about heart rate, how it affects training, how to chart it, what the numbers mean, etc. They even take turns leading the group on the bikes. A side benefit is that the faculty at these schools have a place to workout before and after school, if they so choose."

Kaclik said with tight budgets it can be very difficult to get various types of equipment for schools. The bikes have spurred all kinds of interest, she said.

"The beauty is, you can mold the program to whatever the needs are of the students," Kaclik said. "We don't have a blanket curriculum district-wide so this can fit the needs of each school."

At the alternative school, where kids go as a last chance to make it through high school, she said interest has been stimulated and they are going to use the bikes, the program and heart-rate monitors to teach the kids about personal training as a possible job opportunity.

"They can see there are other jobs and avenues in the fitness area that don't require a degree" or just need certifications or an associate degree, she explained. Plus, she said, as a part of training, the students will likely "train" staff as a part of the district's staff wellness program too.

Not only do the schools benefit by also creating community awareness of the value of P.E. in schools and of fitness in general, but Superior benefits by raising awareness of the business and its website and suppliers. Plus, participants in the fitness day registered at the Superior website, where they also saw what the business offered, giving it additional community exposure. Griffin said her company has been giving away equipment on its website every month for two years, so in keeping with the family event, May's prize was a family package, with donations from suppliers such as Spri, SportBeat and Hampton.

"It is very important to us that folks get active," Griffin said. "Getting involved with the schools in Charlotte is just an extension of that belief."

Kaclik, who only started as health and P.E. director less than a year ago, said it was vital to her that the event be family-oriented since she's seen fitness rub off both ways.

"Kids buy in if their parents are involved," she said, "but it works the opposite way too."

To see a slide show of the event, click here.

SNEWS® View: What a great way to really get involved with the community and become more than just a store. We know others are doing similar things, but it's great to see more than a one-time event, but rather the development of a true partnership. We've written in the past about the growing importance of "cause" or "passion" marketing -- doing something that creates an emotional tie to a customer base rather than just ads -- and this is exactly that.


Schools tap federal grants to buy fitness equipment for PE

PE class is no longer about standing in the outfield or waiting for a turn at kickball. With the new PE, kids have the chance to hop on a treadmill, lift weights, take step classes, or track improvement with a heart rate monitor -- thanks partly to a federal grant program that more


Industry members promote fitness agenda in D.C. at SGMA annual event

Despite a slumping economy, more than 100 members of the fitness and sporting goods industry turned out to help the Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association lobby for greater support of physical activity among congressional members on Capitol Hill. The 10th Annual National more

Vision Fitness goes to school to tap into students' minds for fresh ideas

College kids have dreamed up some of the world's greatest inventions -- many not rated for a family publication like SNEWS®. Think "Girls Gone Wild" or "Animal House." Some college students, however, are inventing some seriously clever things, thanks to companies that go to the more


"Get Fit" event rallies agencies to promote parks/health tie

About 100 people gathered on Harriet Island in Saint Paul, Minn., June 5 to kick off the first "Get Fit with US" event, a program developed by a bevy of federal agencies as well as outdoor industry leaders to promote the connection between public health and public parks. Among more

Superior Fitness buys up potential competitors' web URLs

In a move that may raise eyebrows although it is fully legal, retailer Superior Fitness has bought a number of website URLs with names of direct area competitors and has designed them all to take visitors to its own website. Within a period of four months and apparently after more

Bell Canoe receives recognition from Minn. area high schools

Bell Canoe Works recently received two certificates of award from Zimmerman, Minn-area, high schools for support and service in providing on-the-job training to high school work experience students. The certificates were presented by Work Experience Coordinators Jean Roof and more

Fitness: Movin' & Shakin' -- Lifecore, Diamondback, Superior, Charlotte Fitness, Landice and more…

For March 3 to April 3, 2008 Lifecore owners Roger and Traci Bates have as of April 1 closed their Southern California retail store, Boditekk Fitness & Spa, to focus on the growing Lifecore equipment brand they launched about three years ago. The company is also moving into a more

Sport & Health Clubs and Project Fit America Team Up to Donate Fitness Equipment to Area Schools

Sport & Health Clubs will celebrate their continued partnership with Project Fit America (PFA) on October 25th and 26th with kick-off activities and a ribbon-cutting ceremony to officially dedicate new fitness programs donated to three schools in the Washington, D.C. area.In an more


Veteran retailer Superior Fitness files for bankruptcy liquidation

After 13 years, specialty fitness retailer Superior Fitness is no more. After downsizing dramatically in the spring and early summer, industry veterans Wayne McCarty and Paul Harwood filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy liquidation on Sept. 8 in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Western more