Fitness groups across Long Island – including one from Wantagh – will join in on a socially distanced fitness competition this fall to raise money for cancer research and support local businesses.
Long Island Sweat Fest, which runs from Oct. 1 to Oct. 31, was organized by Merrick native Cassie Wat and Alexa Cawley, CEO of a consulting agency that specializes in marketing for the health and wellness industry.
“With this contest, we hope to build a stronger Long Island community and give people the chance to participate in some awesome fitness classes that they may not have known about before,” said Wat, who founded the fitness and wellness blog Sweat For Free.
The contest is a bingo-style game that encourages participants to attend fitness classes at local studios. Once registered, contestants will receive a bingo card with a list of participating locations. When a contestant joins in on a fitness class at one of the studios, the business will punch a hole in the attendee’s bingo card. Whoever completes an entire bingo card first will win a $1,000 Long Island-themed basket with gift cards and more.
The competition is co-sponsored by Caya studio, a pilates, barre and fitness studio in Wantagh, which has donated gift cards to the grand prize gift basket.
“We are so excited to be a part of the Long Island Sweat Fest,” said Kelly Machusky, owner of Caya. “It’s a great way to support small businesses and local fitness instructors and we look forward to leading free classes for those who donate to the American Cancer Society.”
Over 40 other fitness studios across Long Island will participate. Fitness classes will include a variety of workouts such as yoga, pilates, spin classes, barre, indoor cycling, solid core training, full-body workouts and more.
Compared to New York City, it can be difficult for locals to find fitness studios on Long Island since each studio is physically further apart, Wat said. She hopes the competition helps Long Islanders to find local studios and classes that match their interests.
The organizers hope that the festival benefits fitness studios who have struggled as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, Cawley said. “Our hope is that this contest drives a lot of new traffic into the studios,” Cawley said, “because they were hit so hard during Covid.” In addition to helping small LI-based businesses, Cawley aims to unite the community to advance cancer research.
Wat said her and Cawley have a passion for fitness: it gives them a chance to bring people together and makes them feel strong, physically and mentally.
“I’m so thrilled to bring the Long Island fitness community together while sweating for a cause that is so close to all of our hearts,” Wat said. “It’s going to be a wonderful event.”
To sign up, individuals must first donate to the American Cancer Society through a link on the LI Sweat Fest website, or send a screenshot or receipt of donation to LiSweatFest@gmail.com. The deadline to sign up is Sept. 20.