Strive 4 Fitness Donates $25,000 for La Grange Park Fitness Court

This post was contributed by a community member. The views expressed here are the author’s own.

Almost eleven years ago, fitness guru Shawn Groll strolled into Memorial Park with a vision of helping people achieve better, healthier lives. By 2013, his unique, community-oriented approach to fitness attracted a passionate group of participants dedicated to his outdoor bootcamp.

By 2016, Shawn and his wife Victoria opened their first boutique fitness studio in Brookfield and their business-model of caring, holistic fitness attracted more members than their tiny location could accommodate. Since then, Shawn and Victoria have opened three additional studios -with their largest one opening on August 17, 2020, right here in La Grange Park.

Amid expanding their business and managing the complications arising from a global pandemic, Shawn and Victoria were approached by the Community Park District of La Grange Park’s new executive director, Jessica Cannaday. Over the past year, Cannaday had been looking for new ways to provide programming to the community, was tightening up the park district’s park usage and rental procedures and was also navigating immense financial fall-out from the pandemic.

“I was really impressed with their messaging, and I just knew that there was a way we could support each other in creating opportunities for the residents of La Grange Park to live healthier lives,” said Cannaday.

Strive 4 Fitness and the park district scheduled a phone conference. In less than 30 minutes, there were dozens of new ideas on the table and some big plans began to form. When Shawn learned that COVID was forcing the park district to consider returning a $30,000 grant to install a new state-of-the-art outdoor fitness court in Memorial Park, it sealed the deal.

“We know 2020 has been a rough year,” said Shawn, “but in so many ways it’s been great for us. We wanted to make this outdoor gym a reality for La Grange Park.”

On September 1, 2020, the Community Park District and Strive 4 Fitness solidified a partnership that would provide new fitness classes and events through the park district. Strive 4 Fitness also committed to participating in annual park improvement and beautification projects to make Memorial Park the best it can be; and last, but certainly not least, Strive 4 Fitness pledged $25,000 to help the park district install the new fitness court in Memorial Park.

The Fitness Court is the nation’s most innovative outdoor gym. It was designed by the National Fitness campaign to provide a seven-movement, seven-minute system that allows you to use your own body weight to get the perfect workout. This new outdoor facility will be free for the community to use.

“This really is a partnership that is designed to build a strong community from the inside out,” says Cannaday.

The Outdoor Fitness Court will be installed as part of a comprehensive capital improvement project that addresses the last piece of Memorial Park that has yet to be improved, which was officially approved at the regular meeting of the Community Park District of La Grange Park on September 14, 2020. The scope of the project includes improvements to the existing tennis courts and renovating the multi-purpose court to include two pickleball courts, the National Fitness Campaign Fitness Court, and a multi-use activity area.

Aside from these improvements, residents can look forward to and increased number of fitness programs and new fitness-related community special events.

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