My name is Courtney Roark and I am from London, Kentucky. I graduated from Western Kentucky University in 2015 with a Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science and soon after obtained my Personal Training Certification.
Throughout college I was involved in exercise programming and research for underserved populations such as older adults, intellectually and/or developmentally disabled adults, and impoverished youth.
It was during this time that I developed a passion for community service and the desire to improve access to quality physical education and activity opportunities for underserved populations.
I moved to West Virginia in 2015 to work as an AmeriCorps VISTA for Active Southern West Virginia to recruit, train and support volunteers leading physical activity programs at the community level. It was in this position that the barriers and challenges West Virginians face became apparent.
I have seen that regular physical activity leads to improved overall quality of life, which correlates with reduction of drug abuse, better performance in the workplace, and more driven involvement in community and social life.
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure; being proactive about the health issues that we have been on the defensive side of can and will save money in the long term. Public health works in synergy with economic and community development.
I’m excited to begin my position as the Coordinator of the WV Physical Activity Network and to work with the WV Community Development Hub, WVU’s School of Public Health, and other partners to work through the West Virginia Physical Activity Plan and create solutions to the barriers our communities face.
Physical activity changes lives, and one by one, if we can plant a seed of positive change in each community in the state we can create a better future for West Virginia. “This is the time for vigorous and positive action.”