GCPFS Website bio picture
  • Welcome to the VT Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness & Sports

    Who We Are
    The Governor's Council is a physical activity promotion and advocacy group comprised of approximately 20 volunteers, appointed by the Governor and representing a broad spectrum of Vermonters.

    Our Mission
    To promote health and wellness through physical activity for all people living in Vermont at all fitness and ability levels.

Linking Employee Fitness to Better Business

STATEWIDE, Vt. — Employers throughout Vermont are invited to attend the Vermont Worksite Wellness Conference on March 27, 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., at the Sheraton Hotel & Conference Center in Burlington. Vermont business leaders, human resources professionals, and wellness specialists will share ideas for promoting health and fitness on and off the job.

Governor Peter Shumlin, state health commissioner Harry Chen, and the Vermont Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports will present awards to nearly 100 employers for their onsite efforts to promote physical fitness and a healthy work-life balance.

“Vermont employers have come to understand that physically fit workers are more productive and invested in their careers. Business leaders see the benefits of worksite wellness programs to their bottom line,” said Janet Franz, chair of the Governor’s Council. “The proof is in the number of Vermont companies with topnotch wellness programs.  This year we will honor more worksites than ever before, and the winners will share their best practices at the conference.”

Keynote speaker Andy Core, a work/life balance expert and author of 24 Hours to Accomplishing More & Stressing Less, will discuss individual wellbeing as a means to organizational health. Concurrent workshops will engage participants in building cultures of productivity, fostering motivation and using ergonomic methods to solve physical ailments on the job.

Employers including Fletcher Allen Health Care, The Vermont Country Store, Engelberth Construction, and BioTek will present their strategies for employee health and wellness. Fitness professionals will demonstrate fitness activities that people can do at work.

New this year: The conference is partnering with Go!Vermont! to encourage ride sharing. A commuter bus will drive conference attendees to and from Montpelier.

The $100 registration fee includes a healthy lunch. Deadline to register is March 26. For more information call 802-863-7270. Register today!

The council’s co-sponsors include Vermont Department of Health, BlueCross and BlueShield of Vermont, MVP Health Care, Northwestern Medical Center, INVEST EAP and Fletcher Allen Health Care.



Adaptive Ice Hockey, Skiing and Soccer for mobility challenged people

The Northeast Disabled athletic Association (NDAA) offers a range of local and region-wide clinics and programs in Nordic sitskiing, sled hockey, power soccer and wheelchair basketball. For more information contact NDAA at 802-862-NDAA (6322) or visit their website at www.disabledathletics.

NDAA sponsors two of Vermont’s most exciting sports teams, The Vermont Sledcats, and the VT Chargers. The Sledcats are VT’s only sled hockey team and offer children, young adults and adults the opportunity to play hockey.  The Sledcats practice every Sunday at South Burlington’s Cairns Arena in rink #1 from 3:50 PM to 5:20 PM.  They offer all the equipment you will need to have a safe and fun time on the ice.

The Vermont Chargers are Vermont’s first power soccer team. Power soccer is soccer played in a power chair on a basketball court.  The Chargers open practices are offered on Saturday mornings from 10:00 am until noon at the Miller Rec Center on Gosse Court in Burlington.

NDAA also offers a Nordic sitski program with private lessons and rentals throughout the state and offers a sitski clinic on Saturday, February 1st at the Catamount Outdoor Family Recreation Center in Williston. Lesson, rental, trail pass and Starbucks Hot chocolate provided. Space is limited so sign up soon!

Winter Trails Day is for Every Body: Free Adaptive X-C Ski Lessons on Winter Trails Day, a Nordic Ski Day

On January 11, people who rely on wheelchairs to get around will be able to cross-country ski for free at Rikert Nordic Center in Ripton. It’s Winter Trails Day, a Vermont tradition that encourages beginner skiers to enjoy winter in all its glory with free lessons and passes at Nordic and snowshoe resorts. This year’s outreach expands beyond traditional skiers and snowshoers to aspiring athletes working against the odds. Rikert will make three sit-skis available, and NDAA will provide additional equipment, instructors and lessons for athletes with disabilities.

“Accessing the Vermont woods in winter via Nordic trails means so much to me,” said NDAA founder and Nordic sit-skier, Patrick Standen, who is a member of the council. “Being able to share that experience with other Vermonters makes it even more meaningful and it fits in with the mission of the Vermont Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness wonderfully. We are hoping that young Vermonters will try adaptive Nordic skiing, and discover a lifelong, healthy passion.”

A collection of adaptive sit-skis paired with trained instructors will be available at Rikert Nordic Center throughout the day. Space and equipment is limited so reservations are preferred. Please contact NDAA at 802-862-NDAA (6322) or the Rikert Nordic Center at 802-443-2744 for details or to register.

Additional locations will also offer Nordic skiing and snowshoeing free to beginners using traditional, nonadaptive equipment on Winter Trails Day on Saturday, January 11. The inventory of snowshoes, skis and lesson space is limited. Contact participating ski areas to verify details and availability, and learn more at snowlink.com. Also, find more Nordic events throughout the season at skivermont.com.

Winter Trails Day is a national program endorsed by Ski Vermont and the Governor’s Council; it encourages children and adults to discover the great fitness and social benefits of these fun, easy-to-learn winter sports. Olympic Nordic skier and Vermonter Andy Newell also supports the Winter Trails initiative.

“It’s beneficial for Vermonters’ health and overall well-being to be physically active year-round and Vermont is a prime winter playground for residents and visitors who aim to learn a snowsport,” Vermont Dept. of Tourism and Marketing Commissioner Megan Smith said. “Also, as a parent and former fitness instructor, I’m delighted that the Council encourages residents of all ages to take advantage of our state’s outdoor opportunities for fun and fitness.”


Learn to Ski and Snowboard Lessons Will Get More Vermont Kids Active Outside

Wow, thanks for the great response to Free Ski or Ride Beginner Lessons! The free lessons are filled for this season, but Ski Vermont continues to offer all beginners $29 lift, professional lesson and rentals in January, 2014. Please visit SkiVermont.com/Learn to find more opportunities to learn a snowsport this season.

Prescription Pads Advise Patients To Exercise


Exercise Is Medicine

New Prescription Pads Recommend Physical Activity as Part of Overall Health Message


MONTPELIER, Vt. – As flu clinics canvas the state with preventative shots this season, The Vermont Governor’s Council has a new program intended to boost wellness for Vermonters – and filling this prescription is free. The Vermont Governor’s Council has equipped the state’s 1,460 practicing physicians and chiropractors with a simple, yet impactful message, “Exercise is Medicine.” The prescription pad includes the message, “Physical Activity = Good Health = Good Medicine,” with a list of statewide and national resources including DisabledAthletics.org, EverybodyWalk.org, EXRX.net, Fitness.gov and MoveforWellBeing.org.

“I meet with patients daily, mostly to help them lose weight and these prescription pads are very useful,” Nancy Schaefer, health coach for the Vermont Blueprint for Health at Brattleboro Memorial Hospital, said.

In addition to the prescription pads, physicians and chiropractors received a letter from the Governor’s Council emphasizing the importance of exercise for preventing and treating diseases including obesity, coronary artery disease, depression and anxiety; as well as encouraging that they recommend physical activity to their patients.

“As a natural and warranted extension of the Council’s wellness programs, including worksite wellness and youth and senior initiatives, these prescription notepads make it simple for our state’s medical care community to explain to Vermonters that exercise is medicine,” Dr. David Butsch, general surgeon at The Central Vermont Hospital and veteran Council member, said. “Side effects of physical activity include a stronger immune system, fewer chronic diseases, less aches and pains, and an overall feeling of wellbeing – that makes for happier, healthier Vermonters.”

The next order of business on the Council’s outreach to the medical community includes outfitting all nurses, nurse practitioners, and physician’s assistants with a supply of Exercise is Medicine notepads.



Chika - September 26, 2015 - 5:18 am

Lack of exercise and worry/stress are soeuris obstacles to staying healthy. It is not possible to completely rid oneself of worry or stress and still be alive, so it is very important to help people learn ways to work through stress, worry or difficult situations. Counseling, seminars, workshops would be beneficial. Hold an expo fair to offer opportunities to get involved by joining or volunteering. Involvement that includes exercise, compassion, friendship is one way to elevate one’s spirit and helps a person cope with the tough situations in life. This might be charity foundations that run/walk like; NF Endurance, Leukemia/Lymphoma/ Determination, etc., there are many to choose from that may touch a part of someones’ life. This might be foundations that need volunteers; food shelf, humane society, Habitat, children’s hospitals, local zoo, etc. People may enjoy walking around, interviewing and talking with foundations and organizations all in one location and possibly finding a perfect fit for their self.

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