Volleyballs careened through the air and occasionally into the ceiling tiles as teams squared off in the Ardmore Corporate Fitness Challenge’s fifth year.
Wednesday wrapped up with a volleyball tournament at Heritage Hall with the challenges continuing through Saturday. Committee member Nancy Sjulin said she’s been there from the beginning, and has watched the challenge grow over time.
“We’ve had a lot of the original teams participate and we’ve also had new ones,” she said. “Each year we’ve definitely seen more people get involved, which has been incredible.”
She said planning the challenge has been a learning experience, and they tweak it every year. For example, the rowing event was added and the swimming event, which had lower participation, was dropped. The committee also added a celebratory banquet to the event two years ago.
She said the committee also changed the way teams are formed. Now, smaller businesses can team up to make one larger team if necessary.
“It was awesome to be able to see more people throughout the community being active,” Sjulin said. The friendships you make out here, the camaraderie between the teams and the team building it inspires is incredible. It’s a great opportunity.”
Emmett Farve, a member of Dollar General night shift team, said this is the first year night shift workers have been able to participate. He said so far, his favorite part has been getting to know his coworkers.
“We’ve got two teams, day shift and night shift,” said. “Some of these people I don’t really know because, unfortunately, we have different schedules.This is night shift’s first year, so we’re trying to catch up to these guys.”
Shelley Clements, whose husband Jay works at Valero, said this is her family’s first year joining in the competition.
“My husband’s always been on shift work until the last year,” Clements said. “Now, we’re able to do these kinds of things because usually he would have been at work.”
She said she’s most looking forward to the obstacle course and plans to volunteer at the kids’ obstacle course.
“I think it’ll be fun,” she said. “I’ve been hearing them talk about previous years and I think it’ll be fun.”
Wayne Rogers, a track coach at Lincoln Elementary, has participated in the challenge for roughly the last three years. He said most of the Ardmore City Schools team are returning competitors.
“This just brings everybody together,” Rogers said. “Everybody has a good time and it’s for a good cause, too.”