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Active Southern WV

Active Southern West Virginia, a nonprofit that has been promoting physical activity as a way to expand fellowship and improve health across Raleigh, Fayette, Summers and Nicholas counties, recently expanded its efforts to include Kanawha and Boone counties.

Since introducing hundreds of people in Raleigh, Fayette, Summers and Nicholas counties to a wide range of physical activities that promote fun and fellowship, as well as better health, Active Southern West Virginia is expanding its program into Kanawha and Boone counties.

“We’ve had a lot of people from the two counties reach out and ask about any opportunities that may be available with us,” said Melanie Seiler, the nonprofit’s executive director.

“We’ve been working with communities in Fayette and Raleigh that are neighbors to towns in Boone and Kanawha,” she said. “It makes sense to expand along the Route 3 corridor and the Kanawha River into the two new counties.”

In Kanawha County, Active Southern West Virginia initially will focus on residents of the Upper Kanawha Valley, according to Seiler.

“We’re starting by recruiting volunteers interested in leading small groups in activities like hiking, biking and aerobics, then we’ll be talking with the schools about starting after-school activities, like kids’ run clubs,” Seiler said. “We have an opportunity to engage people this fall through virtual activities offered online, like running and walking challenges, and then move into in-person activities a little later.”

Active Southern West Virginia, now in its sixth year, offers a program of wellness classes and physical activities led by trained volunteers, called community captains, from the areas being served.

“We provide the training and any certification that the community captains may need,” Seiler said.

Free physical activity programs offered this month by ASWV in its four original counties include aerobic dance, disc golf for beginners, trail running, full-moon walks and bike rides, yoga, and water aerobics. Recommended social distancing practices are observed during all events.

“Everyone wears masks when attending programs where people are gathered within 6 feet of each other,” Seiler said. “The exercise classes are for small groups of friends and family members, and you can space far enough apart for hikes, bike rides and trail running” to maintain coronavirus safety standards.

“It’s more important than ever to make health and wellness a high priority, so that we can keep ourselves and our families strong and healthy,” Seiler said.

For more information, call Active Southern West Virginia at 304-254-8488 or email

Reach Rick Steelhammer at, 304-348-5169 or follow

@rsteelhammer on Twitter.