Women’s walking club fosters supportive atmosphere


Walking is seen as a way to get exercise, but it can also be a great social tool and a unique way to get to make friends and get to know your community.

That is exactly the approach that Anne-Marie Mitchell had in mind when she started the Ponte Vedra Women’s Walking Club about a month ago.

However, she did not know what to expect and although she believed in the idea she is blown away by the following it is creating in just a short period of time.

After just one month, the club’s Facebook group page has 400 members, and Mitchell is anxious to see the amount of people it impacts in the future.

“It has grown up very quickly, and I didn’t even realize the response it would have,” Mitchell said. “It has been really touching. What I thought would be just a nice fitness group has already turned into so much more.”

One of the major benefits of the Facebook group is that it allows members to share stories and support for each other between planned walks, the conversations and interactions continue even days and weeks after the walk has ended.

As the name implies, women are the focus of the group, and it includes all age groups, from children to senior citizens.

“I had been thinking about starting this group for several months because I feel like a lot of women want a community they can be a part of,” Mitchell said. “I saw a lot of running clubs in Jacksonville when I researched, but I know I’m not as ambitious to run and I know a lot of women who don’t necessarily want to run but would rather power walk.” 

The club not only promotes stronger physical health but can also be helpful in improving the mental health of its members.

Mitchell has already met so many women with varying reasons why they chose to come out on the walks and she has found that it does not matter if they are someone who is new to town and just looking to meet people or someone who has lived in the area for a long time but is just looking for new friends or just a different way to network from a business standpoint.

“This has been a cure for a lot of women’s loneliness,” Mitchell said. “When women come together they are very nurturing, and that’s what this club is all about. I believe that is so needed especially in the years since COVID.”

Even though Ponte Vedra is in the name, Mitchell wants the club to reach out to any women in the area looking to grow their community of relationships, and that includes fellow beach communities, such as Jacksonville Beach, Atlantic Beach and Neptune Beach.

The walks are held at various locations throughout the area on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, which gives the members plenty of options to choose from depending on what their schedule looks like that week.

Each walk starts at 9:30 a.m. at that week’s designated site. The club’s monthly calendar of walk destinations can be found by going to pvwwc.com.

“I even want to do some beach walks in the future,” Mitchell said.

Local women can become a member by joining the club’s Facebook group.