Johanna Seier held the first annual Fit For a Cause event at The Forks

By Celeste Petrick

Johanna Seier, right, poses with a participant at her first annual Fit For a Cause event at The Forks. CELESTE PETRICK

Winnipeg’s fitness community came together and raised $7,000 for United Way Winnipeg on Sunday, September 8. 

Johanna Seier, creator of the Fit Girl Gang, brought fitness trainers from across Winnipeg together to hold the first annual Fit for a Cause event. The day-long activities attracted 260 people to The Forks and featured motivational speakers, yoga and meditation, a live podcast, and a boot camp led by Seier and the volunteer fitness coaches.

People were full of energy as they took part in the bootcamp at the base of the Scotiabank Stage. Competing fitness coaches put their personal programs and studios to the side and helped Seier lead the step-by-step workout to help raise funds for the community.

“The fact that these are all different trainers from completely different athletic backgrounds and expertise is so cool to see,” said Johanna Adriaansen, a participant at the event. “They are all united for this day to show how passionate the city needs to be, to give back to the members of our city that desperately need our help.” 

Casey Lanxon (event coach) and Hannah Pratt (event DJ) pose behind the DJ booth during the lunch break in between activities. CELESTE PETRICK

The diversity among the coaches propelled the event to reach a variety of people and the coaches were able to attract their personal followers to the event. 

People of all different fitness levels came to the event, from new athletes to yogis, spin instructors, and people looking to support United Way Winnipeg.  

One of the event coaches, Josee Levesque, said she has not seen a Fit Girl Gangevent bring such a strong sense of community. 

“I’m really glad to see such a wide variety of people. We have people here of all ages and backgrounds,” said Levesque. 

Josee Levesque lunges at the CN stage infront of Winnipeg sign at Fit for a Cause event, preparing for the day-long workout. CELESTE PETRICK

While the first annual Fit for a Cause event fell short of Seier’s expectations, the event still raised a significant amount of money for United Way Winnipeg. 

 “My initial goal for the day was 500 attendees, or an estimated $15,000 in proceeds directly benefiting the United Way.” 

Seier plans to run Fit for a Cause again next year, but she plans to have a team of volunteers to help manage and organize the details of the event to be able to increase the funds raised. She asks students who want to help the community to help her make next year’s Fit for a Cause a bigger success.