Chelsea Cohen Fitness AcademyThe Chelsea Cohen Fitness Academy is a unique, countywide umbrella program overseen by the Fairfield County Sports Commission. The Academy’s focus on the healthy body, health mind equation provides leadership in helping to build a generation of children leading a daily, active lifestyle.

Research has shown that children who are active and engaged in sports perform at higher levels academically, and graduation rates for both high school and college are above average. The Academy plays a significant role in educating young people and their parents on these complementary benefits.

The Academy is a countywide, collaborative effort to provide more awareness and educational focus on having underserved youth have access to a more active and healthy lifestyle. The Academy is designed to be the rallying point to engage all important community stakeholders in children’s health, nutrition and in the fight to combat childhood obesity and share best practices throughout the county.


The CCFA is a mobile program that can be brought directly to children and families in their communities. Whether it’s bringing a National Hall of Fame basketball player like Norwalk native Calvin Murphy to run a clinic at the Carver Center or Suzanne Ponticello from the Cohen FA advisory board visiting the Shehan Center for a nutrition lesson, Academy resources can travel throughout the county wherever necessary.

Nutrition SuzanneThe primary goal of the Academy is to create a year-round vehicle to keep the spotlight on the health and wellness needs of youngsters. The Academy’s daily efforts and its ability to sustain existing programs for longer periods of time and grow the number of participants is constructed to deliver far-reaching impact in development of this healthy body, healthy mind initiative

The Academy will create a comprehensive, signature fitness education program designed by its advisory board, focusing on young girls. Young girls have significant issues such as body image and eating disorders that need to be more fully addressed, specifically starting with education on these issues and confidence building that comes with efforts to be in better physical shape.

The Sports Commission’s web site is the main vehicle to extend the reach of the Academy by creating a resource hub for health and fitness programs, andservices. The site will be a central depository for an inventory of youth programs and fitness professionals, while also providing a vast supply of content, including articles, fitness tips, and other educational tools, to make the site the one-stop resource for healthy living for county residents (

The Commission’s partnership with Stamford Hospital and its staff is a keyelement in the initiative. Having access to health experts in all fields through Stamford Hospital, and other health-related organizations the Commission is collaborating with, will provide a vast network of resources to be used in county communities.

Chelsea Cohen Fitness Academy History

In August 2010, the Fairfield County Sports Commission created the Chelsea Cohen Fitness Academy, to further honor the late Chelsea Cohen, for whom the Sports Commission’s Courage Award is named since her passing in 2006.

In 2010, along with the Carver Center, the Stamford Youth Foundation and the Cardinal Shehan Center in Bridgeport were also beneficiaries. The Commission awarded $2,500 grants to each of these groups, as well as offered assistance throughout 2011 using the vast resources the Sports Commission possesses.

The Fairfield County Sports Commission announced March 8, 2011 that its Chelsea Cohen Fitness Academy will initially be housed at the George Washington Carver Community Center in Norwalk. The Sports Commission and the Carver Center began a partnership in 2010 when the Carver Center was named one of three county youth organizations to benefit from Sports Commission financial support.

On August 3, 2011, 500 summer campers attended the First Annual Chelsea Cohen Fitness Academy Jamboree held at Norwalk High School.