Mother Nature forces RichmondFit kickoff indoors

By Amanda Moss

March 3, 2014

Amanda Moss

ROCKINGHAM — The rainy weather on Monday did not stop the kick off for the inaugural RichmondFit competition.

The competition is between businesses in Richmond County to see which company can get the greatest average number of steps. Teams began to register Monday night. The competition will continue through April 30.

The kick-off event was originally supposed to be held at City Hall in downtown Rockingham with a scheduled 1-mile walk, however this plan changed due to cold and icy weather on Monday.

“We are a bit bummed that we have to do this indoors, but that’s Mother Nature for you,” said Roxanne Elliott, ofFirstHealth Community Health Services. “Despite the change, turnout has really been great.”

Groups such as FirstHealth Richmond Memorial Hospital, Unimin, city of Hamlet, city of Rockingham, Richmond County, Richmond County Human Services, MegaForce Staffing Group, Discovery Place Kids, The Richmond County Daily Journal, J.C.Penney, Rockingham Housing Authority and Walmart have already joined the list of businesses participating in the event.

Monday was the first day for individuals to be able to register under their companies. A total of 26 showed up to get started in the competition. Four stations were setup to help them register online.

Alana McRae and T.J. Wilkerson, from Richmond County Emergency Services, were excited to be participating in the event.

“We have about four more back at the office that want to register, but they’re working right now,” McRae said. “We heard about the competition through a company email and we wanted to participate. It’s a great way to get active and spend time with coworkers outside of the work environment. The competition aspect of it does add a good flavour to the entire event. We (emergency services) are in it to win it.”

Rockingham City Council member John Hutchinson was also among those to register on the first day. Hutchinson, a runner, saw it as an opportunity for everyone in the county to get serious about being healthy.

“I really am excited about this program,” Hutchinson said. “Getting fit is one of the best things a corporation or an individual can do. I am a firm believer in exercise.”

While the competition is about how many steps a company takes, individuals can do a variety of activities that will count towards their number of steps. The website,, will calculate a wide range of activities — including roller skating, dancing, Pilates, and yoga — into steps when it is entered into the individual’s profile.

Companies are still being sought to register for the competition. The way it works is an employer must first register the company to participate by emailing the company name, number of employees, primary contact name and email address to The deadline to register the company is March 10.

There will be trophies handed out to the winning companies both in the large and small company group. A large company consists of more than 15 individuals participating in the event. The top three individuals will also be recognized.

“This is a competition,” Elliott said. “So get into it and have a good time doing it.”