GREENFIELD — The fitness equipment at Eastern Hancock schools is about to get an upgrade.
Hancock Wellness Center recently took home top national honors in the U.S. in the “Let’s Move for a Better World” challenge, the prize for which is a nine-piece set of fitness equipment to donate to a local school corporation.
The Let’s Move for a Better World challenge was sponsored by fitness equipment manufacturer Technogym and involved more than 350 fitness centers across the globe. Its goal was to raise awareness for and prevent childhood obesity.
For 20 days, participants tracked their workouts at the fitness center, and the facility in each country that recorded the highest numbers earned the top honors.
Directors said they’re excited Hancock Wellness won after it came in second place in the U.S. last year.
“It’s super exciting because last year we were so close and did not win,” fitness director Kellie McBride said.
Eastern Hancock schools Superintendent Randy Harris said the announcement the schools would receive $25,000 worth of fitness equipment couldn’t have come at a better time.
The school system is currently working with its staff, Hancock Physician Network and Hancock Wellness to encourage staff members and their families to live healthier lifestyles.
“I’m excited to get the new equipment,” Harris said. “It really fits into the things we’re looking to create anyway.”
But that’s not why the school system won; a penny war at the wellness center determined which school corporation would receive the equipment.
Funds donated to the penny war, which added up to more than $250, will be given to Hancock Regional Hospital Foundation.
Hancock Wellness Center racked up more than 4.5 million workout moves in the challenge, McBride said. She’s grateful the community and local businesses helped participate in and promote the cause, she said.
“We came out full throttle,” she said.
It was the second time the fitness center participated in the challenge. Last year, it came in second place in the U.S. and third place in the world.
The community was more fired up this year, McBride said, which helped the wellness center stay in the lead throughout the last three weeks.
“The first year, we didn’t really know what we were doing or how we were doing it,” she said. “This year, we were a little more prepared.”
That communitywide support is what helped the fitness center come in first place this year, she added.
“It’s not something one person can do,” she said.
A date has not yet been set for when the new equipment will be installed at Eastern Hancock.
McBride said it won’t cost the school any money, as Technogym pays for the equipment, shipping, installation and a trainer to teach school officials how to use the equipment.
The nine-piece set makes an exercise circuit. It’s perfect for a school setting because it’s portable, easy-to-use and is easily maintained, McBride said.
“I’m excited for them,” she said. “It’s really nice equipment. And all ages can use it.”
Hancock Wellness Center Director David Flench said the challenge helped the center improve the health of the community by giving the center a chance to open its doors to the public. Several public events were conducted, during which community members could work out at the facility for free.
The event led to new memberships, and facility utilization was up 34 percent.
“Our staff did a wonderful job engaging everyone in the challenge and keeping them motivated,” he said. “Winning top honors in the U.S. and getting to donate the Technogym equipment to Eastern Hancock High School will have a significant impact on childhood obesity.”
A luncheon to celebrate the wellness center’s success is scheduled for noon to 2 p.m. April 8.
It’s free for anyone who participated in the challenge.
Reserve your seat by calling Hancock Wellness Center at 317-468-6100.