Fierce competition took place Friday night at Noble Stadium, with athletes giving their all for the title.
No, it wasn’t the Ardmore Tigers taking the field, but local businesses looking to take home the cup.
The Ardmore Corporate Fitness Challenge was entering its second to last day of fun filled fitness events. Fifteen teams competed in various challenges, from volleyball and basketball to rowing and pickleball.
Proceeds from the event benefit Cities in Schools, a nonprofit organization aimed at helping with literacy for young adults.
Friday night also benefited a second local nonprofit organization called Girls on the Run, an organization that strives to help empower young women. The Girls on the Run held a 5k at Noble Stadium and a Glow run.
Girls on the Run Council Director Erica Gay has been in charge of the 5K run for the past five years, in partnership with Cities in Schools.
“We started with a 5K and then we added a one mile,” Gay said. “What this means to me is having all the girls here and their families here, that is more important than anything we bring in. It is a fundraiser, but it is not the main focus here.”
Proceeds from the 5K registration go to help the Girls on the Run after-school program, which lasts ten weeks and empowers women through physical activities and exercise.
Ardmore Corporate Fitness Challenge planning community member and Cities in Schools board member Mike Whitson is proud of the way the event has grown each year. Originally starting with 12 teams, in 2019 the number of teams rose to 15.
“Part of the growth is new events we may add, like this year we added pickleball,” Whitson said. “After our first year we added a 5K, which Girls on the Run does and organizes and benefits from that.”
Originally the Ardmore Corporate Fitness Challenge started as a three-on-three basketball tournament, but after seeing all the businesses in the area work to incorporate healthy lifestyles, the event grew into a week-long challenge for the corporations.
Being a part of the committee which organizes the event, Whitson says they try to find ways to expand the program and bring in more teams. One of the ways Whitson said will help the event grow is through people in the community continuing to come to the free events to support their coworkers and friends, family and neighbors.
Being from Ardmore, Whitson believes growing the event through community support should be a non-issue.
“Ardmore is a unique small community, there’s not very many small communities that could pull off an event of this scale,” Whitson said. “Ardmore is a very community minded, very volunteer minded, focused community. They support a number of nonprofits so it doesn’t surprise me that people come out and just watch and get involved. That is what is unique about Ardmore.”