Changing Health, Attitudes + Actions To Recreate Girls is a fitness community that aims to empower women by promoting body positivity and encouraging them to explore a variety of physical activities.
The organization has over 115 chapters at universities across the country. UNC’s chapter of CHAARG was established in 2019 and now has about 150 to 200 members.
The nationwide organization was originally founded in 2012 by ex-competitive swimmer Elisabeth Tavierne at Ohio State University. Tavierne realized that many women felt intimidated by male-dominated fitness spaces and hoped to show them that fitness should be fun.
At UNC, Grace Lena is CHAARG's vice president of membership.
She said she spent the first six months of her fitness journey in the women’s only section of her gym because she was uncomfortable with male-dominated weightlifting spaces.
She is a part of UNC weightlifting organization Carolina Barbell but feels most comfortable at CHAARG.
“CHAARG just spoke a lot more to me, because it does give you the opportunity to work out with just women in classes together,” Lena said. “It's a very motivating space, so you don't really ever feel uncomfortable.”
Leah Resler, the club's ambassador, explained that during recruitment, the group emphasizes that participants do not need to be athletic or try out to join, but is open to everyone.
“I think just having this community has been really good for me, at UNC, to have been supported by girls that are passionate about their health and just want to treat their body as best as they can,” Resler said.