Fitness competition doubles as food drive

Published: Oct. 24, 2020 at 7:32 PM EDT
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RUTLAND, Vt. (WCAX) - First responders and gym-goers battled it out to benefit the Rutland County Parent and Child Center.

Rob DiTursi, C.E.O. of the Crossfit Rising Star gym and organizer of the fitness competition, said he was thinking about how to go about hosting this competition for a while.

“We have members on the police department, on the fire department, state troopers, all of whom work out in our gym," DiTursi said. "For years now I’ve been wanting to do something good for the community.”

This weekend’s competition was a rivalry between the Rutland City Police Department and the Crossfit Rising Star gym.

“This is like a fun, race and fitness contest that we’re doing head to head," DiTursi said. "We talked to our buddies at the police department, and he said let’s do it, let’s throw together a little bit of a fun contest.”

It was a challenge of strength and endurance, but it was also a popularity contest. People who donated food were able to vote and support their favorite team. The voting process was simple, each can of food represented one vote, so when people donated their cans, they got to vote for who they want to win. Both teams had two days to collect canned goods. The total number of cans gets tacked on the teams' athletic competition scores to determine the final winner.

Members from both teams, including Matthew Prouty from the Rutland City Police Department, said they’ve been looking forward to this weekend’s contest.

“We’re just, coming off the heels of our annual physical fitness tests so we’ve been running and lifting," Prouty said. But of course every discipline here has their own exercises that they picked so, hopefully, we’re competitive.”

Jenna Elliott, a local firefighter and gym member, also said they pumped up their rivalry with some trash talk.

“Just a little bit, I’ve received some from the police boys. I mean, there always is with fire and police, but it will be a good time," Elliott said. "There’s always that little bit of competition aspect that makes everyone want to jump on board a little more full force.”

In the end, the Rutland City Police Department narrowly won the athletic competition but lost the war in food donations to the Rising Star Gym. The competition donated just under 500 canned goods to the Rutland County Parent and Child Center. They also got Freihofer’s Bakery to donate over seven cases of food as well.

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