Now with a new website and a new office at Heardmont Park off Cahaba Valley Road, the Alabama Governor’s Commission on Physical Fitness and Sports is up and running and aims to keep the rest of us doing the same. Executive Director Phil Holmes makes Hoover his home with his wife, Libby, and their three children (Noah,13; Annalise,12; and Max, 8). For the past five years, Phil and his staff have been dedicated to keeping the citizens of Hoover and Shelby County healthy and fit. Through NFL camps, a new archery park in Inverness, Senior Olympics activities and the 100 Alabama Miles Challenge, Phil is passionate about promoting healthier communities and schools throughout the state.
What drives your passion to keep Hoover and the people of Alabama healthier?
While I was playing baseball at Samford University and was majoring in business management, I started working at St. Vincent’s in the sports medicine and wellness area. I started helping out with local events and one thing led to another. Now that I have three kids myself, I understand how hard it is to get them off the couch and moving. Alabama has one of the top childhood obesity rates in the country, so I knew I had to do something for the community and state.
Tell us more about the 100-mile challenge. What is it, and how can we get involved?
It’s a statewide public program through the Alabama Department of Public Health designed to encourage people to complete 100 miles of physical activity by the end of each year. People can log on to 100alabamamiles.org, where they can take any activity they’re doing, like walking, running, hiking and so on, and log it in using a fitness converter. It’s a great resource for people traveling and coming into the state. We’re going to have a community kickoff toward the end of the year or beginning of next year, so we’re currently talking to corporate sponsors and partners about making prizes available.
Who are your key players in the community that help make this all happen?
Two Dees, Dee Nance and Dee Pack, both help oversee the programs and help promote them in the community and through social media. We have a board of directors and work with coaches, doctors and P.E. teachers throughout the state. We also have great support from Gov. Kay Ivey. Also my wife, Libby, who works with community outreach at Jeff State, shares my belief in keeping children physically active, including our own, so she helps me whenever she can.
What would you say to someone who wants to get healthier and find more time for exercise?
Every day, more research comes out about how beneficial just 30 minutes of exercise daily can be. A recent study shows that it can reverse aging by up to 10 years after just a few weeks. People may not know where to go or where to start, so I’m trying to do anything I can to let people know all the resources they have here in this city and in the state. Visit our new website, physicalfitness.alabama.gov, and like our Facebook page to keep up with local community events and get fit together.
Why do you love Hoover?
Getting to serve on the Hoover Chamber Board of Directors was a highlight for me, seeing firsthand the importance of business and community leaders working together to make Hoover one of the best communities to live in our State, if not the Country. There are so many great opportunities for people of all ages to get outdoors and exercise, great community sports programs for youth and the Alabama Senior Olympics for folks 50 years and older. Senior Olympic swimming, table tennis and archery were held in Hoover in 2018 and will be back again in the Spring of 2020 at the Hoover Recreation Center, Bumper Nets and the brand new Hoover Community Archery Park in Inverness. We at the Governor’s Commission on Physical Fitness support and recognize Hoover’s commitment to health and fitness for its residents. Hoover is truly a model for communities throughout the state!