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Ditch the elliptical with CHAARG

(Left to right) Natalie Atwood, Catie Corbett, Camila Villaveces, Chloe Delgado, Madison Riebe, Colleen Monaghan and Nicole Olson are the faces of CHAARG, holding leadership positions in the FGCU-based chapter. (Photo courtesy of FGCU CHAARG)

Too many college girls rely solely on an elliptical in fear of weight-lifting and male judgment.

CHAARG, a fairly new club at FGCU, aims to break standards and promote health and fitness to college-aged girls.

Founded in Ohio in 2012 by Elisabeth Tavierne, this organization is all about freeing girls from the elliptical and has already empowered more than 5,000 girls at 37 universities in the nation.

“CHAARG stands for Changing Health, Attitudes and Actions to Recreate Girls,” said Chloe Delgado, the VP of media for CHAARG at FGCU. “It’s already at three other universities in Florida: UCF, USF, here at FGCU and we’re going to be getting a chapter at UF.”

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Left to right) Chloe Delgado, Catie Corbett, Natalie Atwood, Camila Villaveces, Colleen Monaghan Nicole Olsen and Madison Riebe pose in front of Alico Arena. Villaveces throws up the CHAARG lightening bolt symbol. (Photo courtesy of FGCU CHAARG)

The club’s main goal is to create opportunities for CHAARG girls to “find their fit.”

Every Monday, the chapter has studio spotlights where they feature either a studio or an instructor and partake in a group fitness class.

Along with group fitness classes, such as ab attack, the chapter also holds activities like, cycling, kickboxing and hip hop classes, in hopes of finding every girl’s “fit.”

“The club is very flexible. No event is mandatory, but if you sign up for one, we expect you attend it,” Delgado said. “However much you want to get out of it is what you will get out of it.”

Beyond fitness, the chapter also focuses on the nutrition aspect to promote a well-rounded, healthy lifestyle through healthy recipes and online resources at

“Sometimes, a theme for a small group we’ve done was sharing a healthy new recipe or finding a healthy place to eat out,” Delgado said. “I took my small group to Planet Fitness. I know a couple of girls who went to Sovi to cook in the kitchens there and in the North Lake commons.”

Photo courtesy of FGCU CHAARG

As a way to give back, CHAARG also tries to be heavily involved with volunteering and community service.

“We had the opportunity to participate … in the Winter Games at the FGCU South Village field, to spread more awareness for people with disabilities. We have at least one to two community outreaches per semester,” Delgado said.

Beyond the fitness, the nutrition and the community service outreach, the organization has brought girls together through the bond of wanting to live a healthy lifestyle.

The founder of CHAARG, Elisabeth Tavierne stated on the CHAARGE website, “I hope that they find a supportive and encouraging community and that they meet not only workout buddies, but lifelong friends.”

Being connected to the #inchaarg community on Instagram allows girls to make a second Instagram, so they can post their sweaty selfies and healthy food pictures.

“With these Instagrams, girls from all over the country can cheer you on,” Delgado said. “A big thing I saw drawing everyone together was that online connection.”

There are also socials and extra events that allow the CHAARG girls to become closer together while also mixing together “work and play.”

FGCU’s CHAARG and participants during their charity race event for Girls on the Run, a nonprofit organization that helps positively impact young girls. (Photo courtesy of FGCU CHAARG)

“The group of girls I met through CHAARG instantly bettered my life,” said Colleen Monaghan, a sophomore member. “Fitness was always important to me, but finding a huge community of girls with the same priorities is what I needed to fulfill my college experience.”

The CHAARG movement is just getting started and hopefully the chapter at FGCU can change the lives of girls outside of the Fort Myers community.

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