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Pieces of Eight

Members of Mike’s Booty Kicking Squad celebrate their win in the Pirate Wellness Challenge. The winning team accumulated the most points based on combined efforts in healthy eating, increased physical activity and weight loss goals. Team members from the Department of Transportation Services are (front to back) Sherry Williams, Shirley Bazemore, Karen Mizelle, Mike Van Derven and Bonnie Casey. (Photo by Joy Holster)

Challenge Leads Employees on Path to Health, Fitness

ECU employees have taken eight million steps in the right direction this Spring. Staff from Parking and Transportation Services and Student Health have traveled nearly over 8,000 miles, exercised more than 62,000 minutes and downed 704 gallons of water, on their way to a healthier lifestyle through ECU’s Pirate Wellness Challenge.

The voluntary Wellness Challenge encourages positive lifestyle changes that promote health and fitness through healthy food choices and increased physical activity. The pilot program was held January through April, with a concluding celebration in May.

Karen Warren, director of Campus Wellness, said participation in the program is enhanced through competition. Teams of four to five members each compete to earn points, through daily steps recorded on pedometers, structured physical activity, fruit and vegetable consumption and water intake. Points are also awarded for meeting personal weight-loss goals at weekly weigh-ins.

Nine teams participated in the pilot program, with a total weight loss of 91 pounds and 80 percent achieving a personal goal. Teams competed for a prize package that included a t-shirt, a discount on massage therapy, an ECU blanket, declining balance cards from Aramark, 30 percent off a personal training package and a semester’s free membership at ECU’s Student Recreation Center.

With a grand total of 6,267 points, the winning team from Parking and Transportation was Mike’s Booty Kicking Squad. The team of five was led by Mike Van Derven, director of Transportation Services. Participants included Shirley Bazemore, Bonnie Casey, Karen Mizelle and Sherry Williams.

The winning team from Student Health Service, with 6,996 points, was the Phat Chics team of Sheryl Gardner, Heather Carter, Nicole Garris, and Gywn Carraway.

The Pirate Wellness Challenge is offered by Campus Recreation and Wellness and the Activity Promotion Laboratory in the Department of Exercise and Sport Science.


This page originally appeared in the May 19, 2006 issue of Pieces of Eight. Complete issue is archived at