In a world that often keeps us glued to screens and confined indoors, the need for accessible outdoor fitness is more crucial than ever. Meet Doug Kormondy, a local resident with a passion for health and wellness, who spearheaded the effort to bring a Fitness Court® and wellness programming to his community in Santa Rosa County, Florida.
In this Q&A, Doug shares his journey, insights and advice for anyone eager to make a positive change in their own community with National Fitness Campaign.
Q: Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background.
A: I'm Doug Kormondy, born in New Orleans, raised in Long Beach, and currently a hospital pharmacist. Inspired by my father's emphasis on physical activity, I played various sports in my youth and now strive to expose my daughter to outdoor endeavors. I am currently employed as a hospital pharmacist, and given the demands of the work environment of the healthcare industry, I find that I am not granted the luxury of being able to coach my daughter in her various activities, but love the idea of the Fitness Court® as being a resource for ‘anytime’ activity.
Q: Why is health and wellness important to you?
A: Taking care of our bodies is paramount. Physical fitness serves as accessible therapy, benefiting both the mind and body, especially in today's focus on mental health. It is amazing what a good sweat and 20 minutes of outdoor exercise can do for the mind, as well as the body.
Q: How did you first hear about the National Fitness Campaign?
A: My wife Melanie and I stumbled upon a Fitness Court® in Pensacola, Florida. Intrigued, I explored the National Fitness Campaign’s website, seeing the potential for a similar addition to our local parks.
Q: What was the process to bring the Fitness Court® to Santa Rosa County?
A: Discovering the Campaign's mission, I submitted a contact form on the website and was connected with a local partnership development manager at National Fitness Campaign. After the Zoom meeting, I went online to find the next public county commissioner’s meeting. I presented the idea to my local county commissioner, utilizing a public forum. My pitch can be viewed here (starting at 50:15). Although I am not a trained marketer or public speaker, I would encourage any citizen interested in bringing the campaign to their community to present during a public forum of a council meeting. I was pleased to hear from my local county commissioner following my public comments which led to a meeting with local government and Parks and Recreation that ultimately led to successful partnership at Tiger Point Park.
Q: How many communities have you helped with this initiative?
A: I've maintained contact with the Parks and Recreation team, learning that a new Fitness Court® is planned for a neighboring community. I'm also exploring opportunities in my childhood community of Long Beach, Mississippi. I have reached out to some old friends and hope to present the campaign initiative in a city hall meeting in Long Beach within the next year.
Q: Do you plan to participate/lead programming at the Fitness Courts®?
A: Currently, I do not have time to host fitness classes myself at the Fitness Court® but I do envision some youth classes with my daughter in the future where we both could participate.
Q: What is your favorite thing about the Fitness Court®?
A: The joy of being outdoors. In a society tethered to screens, spending time in nature is crucial for mental and physical well-being.
Q: What advice do you have for other Community Champions eager to bring the campaign to their community/campus?
A: Take an active role in your community. Nothing happens without action. If you want change, ask for it. Seize opportunities and be the spark to light the fire.
Doug's dedication and passion exemplifies the impact one person can have on their community. His advice serves as a rallying call for all aspiring community champions: take the initiative, be proactive, and make a positive change for the well-being of your community. National Fitness Campaign is not just about fitness; it's about fostering a healthier, more connected community.