Matrix Fitness Announces Project COURAGE

Matrix Fitness, the world’s fastest growing commercial fitness brand announced a new initiative, called Project COURAGE (Creating Opportunities for the Under Represented through Authenticity Generosity and Engagement) aimed at supporting the 107 Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) in the United States. The project focuses primarily on supporting HBCU schools and creating opportunities for HBCU professionals and students, specifically those interested in fitness-related fields.

The Project COURAGE initiative, which commenced in July 2023, encompasses the following components:

Project COURAGE Panel
This panel, consisting of six HBCU health and well-being professionals, will offer ongoing guidance to Matrix in relation to the Project on an annual basis. Additionally, they will collaborate with Johnson Health Tech/Matrix Fitness to support their initiatives related to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging (DEIB). The initial term for panel participation is two years, with the option to renew. The 2023-2025 COURAGE Panel includes the following members: Tiffany Lomax, Ed.D., Director of Recreation and Wellness at North Carolina Central University; Anthony Daniels, MS, Director of Recreational Sports at Prairie View A&M University; Serita Porter, MA, MS, Assistant Athletic Director for Athletics and Recreational Services at Lincoln University; Iisha Voltz, Ed.D., Director of Campus Recreation at Texas Southern University; Jordin Williams, MS, RCRSP, Executive Director of Wellness, Recreation, and Campus Events at Delaware State University; and Earnest Washington, MS, Director of Campus Wellness and Recreation at Central State University.

A scholarship program has been created where Matrix will contribute at least $5,000 yearly to be distributed in scholarships ranging between $500 and $2,500 for students and professionals studying or working in fitness-related fields at HBCUs. The scholarship can be used to cover tuition, books, or any education-related expenses or to attend conferences such as the NIRSA Annual, Regional or Emerging Recreational Sports Leaders(ERSL) Conference. The Project COURAGE Panel will be responsible for choosing the award recipients each year.

Educational Opportunities
Students and staff will have access to virtual and in-person educational workshops and training sessions focusing on topics ranging from sprint-intensity to speed technique protocols to wellness training. All educational opportunities will be provided at no cost and some offer CEC/CEUs for those that hold training certificates.

Networking & Breakout Sessions
Alongside national and regional conferences and gatherings, HBCU participants will receive invitations to engage in networking and breakout sessions. These sessions serve as a platform to strengthen connections with the Matrix team while facilitating the exchange of valuable insights and addressing concerns that hold significance for HBCU leaders and students. Planned events include the Black Female Director Social at NIRSA and the HBCU Summit Pre-Conference event at ERSL Conference.

On-site Product Training
Matrix is devoted to ensuring that HBCU staff fully realize the potential of their products. Our dedication to your success goes beyond delivery because we firmly believe that proper training is the cornerstone of unlocking the maximum benefits, usage, and longevity of our solutions. Our in-person product training is specifically tailored to suit your unique products and solutions.

Matrix extends its support further through the Matrix Learning Center, a comprehensive digital resource meticulously crafted to educate and train our valued customers on the entirety of our product portfolio, programming, and innovative solutions. As part of our commitment to continuous improvement, we will introduce the Matrix Research Hub within the Learning Center. This hub serves as a repository of research-based content, with a strong focus on vital topics such as mental health, cardiovascular health, health span, aging, and sprint intensity training.

For HBCU staff and students, this access to the Matrix Research Hub presents a golden opportunity to tap into a wealth of valuable content and toolkits. These resources shed light on the numerous advantages of incorporating exercise into daily routines, promoting physical and mental well-being.

“We’re extremely excited and proud to announce Project COURAGE and show our dedication to HBCUs”, says Rebecca Peoples, Collegiate Recreation, East Region Manager for Matrix Fitness. “At Matrix, we recognize the disproportionate representation of minorities in the health and wellness industry and believe Project COURAGE can serve as a vehicle for change. Today’s students are tomorrow’s athletic coach, physical therapist, trainer, facility manager and more, and it’s our responsibility to provide access to education and cultivate a sense of belonging in our industry.”

The inaugural in-person meeting for Project COURAGE took place on July 1, 2023. Under the leadership of Rebecca Peoples, the panel will convene on a monthly basis. Their initial focus will be to establish the criteria and procedures necessary to administer the 2024 student and professional scholarship program.

“As a three-time graduate of Delaware State University, an HBCU, I take great pride in contributing to this transformative initiative alongside Matrix Fitness and five exceptional HBCU leaders,” says Tiffany Lomax, Director of Recreation and Wellness at North Carolina Central University. “The actualization of this vision and the prospects for future expansion surpass even the loftiest dreams I once held. My gratitude goes to Matrix Fitness for their unwavering commitment, and I wholeheartedly believe that Project COURAGE will have an immeasurable impact not only on underrepresented students and staff at HBCUs but on the entire fitness profession.”

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