Sophia Werning the executive director of West Virginia on the Move met with local volunteers involved in last year's project to discuss plans for upcoming walks, ongoing fitness and grant funding for the project which hopes to combat the Mountain State's poor history of coronary disease, diabetes and obesity through making people more active.
"We are already on track with rolling out walks in these communities (Man, Chapmanville, West Logan and Logan) and we want to support any pedometer walk in the county," Werning said of the programs which are expected to kick off around March along with a county wide walk run for students planned for this spring. The program for High School students is expected to kick off in March and April.
Werning explained the grant for the program and how Logan stood out as a role model for other counties due to the success locally of the WV on the Move success which began last year.
"So we went back and decided to use Logan as a model," she said. "The first year of he grant cycle will focus on Logan and the second year will focus on the other four counties. "
Werning said there were reports of problems with the pedometers which were issued last year so a different source of updated devices is planned this year.
"We got a bunch of duds last time," she admitted, and discussed giving out other premiums to promote the project such as T-shirts and activity packs. Werning and volunteers also discussed the possibility of getting corporate sponsors for items like pencils for school children. Premiums would be distributed at the walks while supplies last to those who arrive first.
Werning noted that outside media picked up stories on last year's fitness program following the walk at Chief Logan Park.
"It even got translated into Spanish," Werning said, explaining that such public awareness could come in handy for helping people to improve their levels of fitness.
Werning who has a background in Journalism and Public Relations said she got involved with WV on the Move through a neighbor who was into physical fitness.
"I wasn't' very active, but she guilted me into it," Werning quipped, explaining her family members got her an I-Pod which helped keep her interested in exercise. She said good role models can make fitness fun for everyone.
The town of Man will kick off its walk in April with the Man on the Move Second Annual Walk starting at 9 a.m. at the Buffalo Creek Memorial Library; March 3 is the tentative date to kick off walks for the high schools. July 19 is the tentative date for the county wide walk, which may take place again at Chief Logan State Park. Time will be announced at a later date.