Chase Stewart Joins Team HEADstrong as Volunteer Strength & Conditioning Coach
By: Jennifer Hoffman
Chase Stewart is bringing her years of expertise in the sports training world to Team HEADstrong. Stewart is volunteering as the Strength and Conditioning Coach for the team and although COVID-19 has halted most large runs in the area, that doesn’t mean your training has to be put on pause too.
What initially peaked her interest in getting involved with the foundation was HEADstrong’s Leadership Workshop back in January but throughout some conversations, Chase realized she could make an even bigger impact, and a lasting one at that. Given her background not only as an endurance runner and coach but also as a former HEADstrong Lacrosse Club athlete, bringing her onboard for Team HEADstrong was a no-brainer.
“I’ve known about HEADstrong for a long time, I’m from the Philadelphia area, played for HLC, played college lacrosse. If you play lacrosse you know about HEADstrong. I wanted to help however I could,” she said.
Not only does she have a connection to the sports side of the organization, she has a connection to the mission as well. Chase’s family has experienced the hardships of cancer, as both her grandfather and aunt lost their lives to the disease.
“I think I feel connected to HEADstrong specifically because they have such a different goal. HEADstrong addresses immediate issues, it’s always pulled me back to that lime green color,” said Chase.
Team HEADstrong is a developing initiative for the Foundation, giving runners a way to pledge their miles or run for a reason. Team HEADstrong encourages you to find your why: why are you motivated to compete in an endurance event? This program is all about embracing your why and making it count.
Given the current climate it is not possible for runners to gather in large groups right now but that doesn’t mean you have to put your training on hold. Virtual training is an option, and Coach Stewart assists Team HEADstrong athletes with programs and nutrition advice. Team HEADstrong also creates an opportunity to connect with other members of the team; helping to hold each other accountable during this time is crucial.
“Regardless of where you sit with training, I think having the opportunity to do a virtual session would be super beneficial to remind people that it’s still happening and still here. Team HEADstrong isn’t gone. We can have a bigger impact,” stated Chase.
The power of social media was evident during HEADstrong’s Last Shift 2020 campaign which raised over $130,000. Runners from all over the country including high school and college athletes, university Athletic Directors, and even a couple of professionals participated in the virtual 5k on April 6th. It showed that no matter the distance, we can remain connected through social media.
“My personal goal is to spread the name of TEAM HEADstrong in the endurance community. Running in gear can be a big deal. If you have a couple people running together in HF gear it makes a big difference. It’s things that people notice,” she said.