Exercise group brings Oatland community members together

  • Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Chris Sokoloski/Times
Members of the Oatland community gather at 6:30 a.m. on weekday mornings to exercise together. In the month since the program started, the members have a become like a family, said Danny Kelly, the organizer.

By Chris Sokoloski

Just after sunrise in the Oatland community of Georgetown County, a group of residents gets together every weekday morning to exercise.
Twenty people between the ages of 7 and 60 were working out one morning last week, under the watchful eye of a pet dog.
Danny Kelly leads the group, with help from Pelor Richard.
Kelly, a freelancer hair stylist, committed himself to exercising and a healthier lifestyle while incarcerated.
He decided to start the exercise group to give school-age children something to do and try to keep them out of trouble.
“It’s something they’ll have fun in, but also benefit them at the same time,” Kelly said. “Come out and have fun and stay in shape, and keep youth out of trouble. I came out with that mentality, that mind frame.”
He also wanted the opportunity for the kids to interact with older residents in the community.
Since the group started in late July, many participants have become friends and some discovered that they were related to each other.
“It’s just a one big family thing,” Kelly said.
Many of the exercises are low impact.
“[The older folks] can work at their own pace and be able to rehabilitate themselves right in the community,” Kelly said.
Some days the group works out by running on the basketball court, sometimes they target specific areas like their legs, and sometimes they focus on cardio.
Last week the entire group worked on the same exercises, but other days Kelly splits them into small groups.
“What really, really attracted a big crowd was people come out and work at their own pace,” Kelly said. “I’m not trying to hurt nobody, not trying to run nobody off.”
The group is open to everybody in the community.


The morning fitness group meets at Oatland Community Park on Oatland Road, which is off Highway 51. Exercising begins at 6:30 a.m. Mondays through Fridays. There is no charge to participate, but donations are accepted for the use of any equipment.
For more information call Kelly at 843-605-1131.

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