Are you a college-aged girl who struggles to find a group of girls you can work out with? Do you find it hard going to the gym by yourself? Well now, opportunity has struck for Hofstra University females wanting that bond while still putting their health first. It’s called Long Island CHAARG and it’s a chapter founded by Hofstra University junior Isabella Massucci. The national organization, CHAARG, was founded by Elisabeth Tavierne and has a health and fitness community on more than 90 college campuses, according to their website.
Massucci, a Long Island native and the ambassador for Long Island CHAARG, founded this new chapter before she decided to transfer to Hofstra University.
“I was in it at Syracuse [University] for a year and I absolutely loved it,” she said. “I wanted to bring it to Hofstra. I applied to nationals to become an ambassador for Hofstra and I got picked. I went through a 10 week training program to start up the organization. Then, I picked an executive board. It’s a new chapter and it just started this fall.”
Massucci said the reason why she wanted to create this club for Hofstra women was because it is such a unique concept.
“I think schools don’t have an organization like this on campus,” she said. “It’s a safe space for girls to enjoy health and fitness and take time away from schoolwork. [Also to] workout, stay in a healthy mindset and meet other girls that are inspiring and motivational. [In an effort to] make new friends and learn to love working out. The reason I loved it so much was because I struggled finding that group of girls. CHAARG gave me that. That’s why I thought that Hofstra needed something like that on their campus.”
Due to finding a new club during a pandemic, Massucci said the club is structured a specific way to meet New York State guidelines.
“We definitely have a totally virtual option for girls who didn’t come to school” she said. “We’ve been having workouts on Zoom. If we do have things in person they are socially-distant outside. We’re finding ways to work around the situation that we have right now.”
She said a membership with Long Island CHAARG costs $47 a semester and believes it is a much cheaper option than going to your local gym.
“What you get out of the club is one weekly workout with different studios, one small group workout a week and different socials and events that we plan,” Massucci said. “We get different fitness instructors, different kinds of workouts and we bring them in every single week to do a workout for the members.”
Ally Montana is the vice president of media for Long Island CHAARG, who said the best thing about Long Island CHAARG is the fact that everyone is learning new workouts.
“I feel like the best part of it is we are also learning how to do each thing,” Montana said. “Last week, we did pure barre and I’ve never done it before. Even our exec members are not as experienced. Anybody can join. Truly, I don’t think anybody has tried every single workout. I think it’s good for girls to do different workouts because they can find which one best suits them and makes them actually want to work out, instead of them feeling like they have to.”
Although Long Island CHAARG was founded during the pandemic, Long Island CHAARG secretary, Val Garcia said all seven girls on the exec team had a great time working together to bring this new venture to Hofstra.
“I feel like it’s empowering,” she said. “Even though we have different positions, we all pull our own weight and help each other out. Especially with helping plan events, trying to bring our creative ideas together, it feels like we are a little family.”
As secretary, she does all the behind the scenes work. “I take attendance at each event,” Garcia said. “I email all new members and potential new members to make sure they have information about all the events we are holding.”
Cait O’Brien is one of the newest members of Long Island CHAARG. She said one of the reasons why she decided to join Long Island CHAARG was because she wanted to find a network of friends.
“I wanted to join Long Island CHAARG first and foremost because I wanted to meet new people,” she said. I joined because after freshman year of college, I didn’t feel very confident with my body. The “freshman 15” is sadly real. I got super into working out, eating healthy, and taking care of myself over the past year and now that I’m a junior, I want to make sure these habits continue into the future. CHAARG felt like a community where I could make friends that have the same drive to be healthy in all aspects of life.
She only has good things to say about the club. “My favorite part about CHAARG is the community,” O’Brien said. “Through my inCHAARG instagram, I’ve been able to connect with young women across the US in different CHAARG groups. They share recipes and workouts, as well as give a look into their lives as a member of CHAARG, which I really love. Everyone in Long Island CHAARG has been super kind and welcoming and I’m so excited to continue to meet everyone.”
Right now, Long Island CHAARG has approximately 75 members and is growing day by day. “There’s no limit,” Massucci said.
For more information about Long Island CHAARG visit their Instagram, @longisland_inchaarg