At FITniche, we love to give back to our community.  It’s core to who we are.  We believe that helping others helps all of us, and, as my father said, no one ever became poorer by giving to those in need.  With that in mind, we thought you might like to know a few of the ways we’ve been giving back this year.

We focused heavily on kids’ running programs in the community lately because we believe that helping kids have positive, formative running experiences plants the seeds for future healthier adults.

With the assistance of Mizuno, FITniche donated $500 to the Lakeland Runners Club kids running program to assist them with expenses they incur in the servicing of almost 100 kids a week.  One of our key employees, Sean Packard, is even a volunteer coach with the group organization.  Want to learn more about this awesome, free program the dedicated members of the Lakeland Runners Club put on each week? Click here.

FITniche also donated $1000 apiece to two different elementary schools to assist them with their running programs this year, allowing them to invest in mileage tracking technology, shirts for the kids and race entries.

And we gave $2500 to a group called Ainsely’s Angels earlier this year, allowing them to buy a Hoyt Chair–a special racing wheelchair that allows an able bodied participant to push a disabled participant in races.  The group pairs able-bodied runners with severely disabled people in local races throughout the area, allowing the disabled participants, often children, the opportunity to experience the thrill, movement, sweat, cheers and overall experience of being involved in races!  They’re an amazing group creating amazing experiences for those who would otherwise not be able to participate in the types of endurance events so many of us enjoy!

The last group FITniche gave to this year is Flatwoods Park in the North Tampa area.  FITniche is donating a filtered, high capacity water fountain to replace the aging and often broken one located at the Bruce B.Downs trail head.  Flatwoods Park is an amazing network of over 7 miles worth of paved trail, nestled in pristine Florida back-country wilderness.  It is a treasure for runners and cyclists.  A few facts about the park that users may not know: 1) The park is actually a basin, or cauldron, that can periodically divert over 12 feet of standing water from the Hillsborough River when the City of Tampa is in danger of flooding  2) almost all of Tampa’s drinking water comes from the aquifers located beneath the park and 3) park rangers blow off all 7 miles of the trail every morning!  Look for installation of the fountain later this fall.

So thank you for shopping with FITniche.  Shopping for your running gear locally helps make all of this happen!  In other words, your shopping at FITniche does more than employ local athletes and friends and add to the tax base that supports the schools, first responders and infrasturcture where we live.  It lets us actively contribute to the building of a better community in ways like this.  Thank you!