Cody Cousino / Multimedia editor
When Elisabeth Tavierne noticed a lack in student fitness clubs for women at Ohio State’s student involvement fair last year, she decided to fill the gap.
So last winter, OSU students and co-founders Tavierne and Emily Richard started the group Changing Health Attitudes and Actions to Recreate Girls, more commonly known as CHAARG, an OSU fitness club for young women.
“We wanted to create a community of strong inspirational girls,” Tavierne said. “Girls can do other things besides the elliptical when they work out, and we wanted to show them that.”
Both seniors at OSU, Tavierne majors in exercise science education and Richard majors in speech and hearing science. Tavierne is a former OSU swimmer, and was a student-athlete until part-way through her sophomore year. Richard hasn’t been involved in college athletics but ran track in high school.
The idea of the club came after they started a blog last year wanting to be “fitfluential ambassadors.” The women ended up merging the blog with their idea of CHAARG, Tavierne said.
Recipes, fitness tips and different workouts are all available on their blog, and they also have a weekly post named “Member Mondays” to highlight a different member of CHAARG each week.
Over the past year, membership has increased dramatically, Tavierne said.
The 262-member group does different workouts and activities each week, such as Zumba, salsa dancing and Tavierne’s favorite, piloxing, a mix between boxing and Pilates.
Members of CHAARG pay a $30 per semester fee, and so far this semester, all events have been free.
“The events have been free because the studios are very passionate about what they do,” Tavierne said. “Girls do the events, love it, and then sign up for a membership.”
Along with different activities each week, CHAARG members completed a 5K (3.1 mile) race and went on a camping trip to Hocking Hills near Wayne National Forest in southeast Ohio at the beginning of the semester.
“It’s a good way to meet other people with similar interests,” said Ale Speakman, event coordinator for CHAARG and a third-year in Spanish. “It makes us more well-rounded.”
Other students have taken notice as well.
“My roommate is in it, and I know she really likes it,” said Carly Fusco, a second-year in psychology. “It’s good to have a club that focuses on all parts, the exercising and healthy (lifestyle).”
Richard and Tavierne plan to graduate at the end of Spring Semester, but hope to stay involved.
“Our long-term goal is for every school to have a program,” Tavierne said. “Not just college girls, either. Maybe someday they will have programs for high school girls.”
And for those skeptical about joining, Speakman said why not?
“You have nothing to lose,” Speakman said.