Shelby Watkins is supporting Amy For Africa with an exercise class.

Shelby Watkins is supporting Amy For Africa with an exercise class.

CARLISLE One of Kentucky’s best high school distance runners is showing some love to Amy For Africa.

Shelby Watkins, who was the Class A runner-up in last fall’s state cross country championships and was a top eight finisher in the 1,600 and 3,200 last spring for Nicholas County High School, is hosting a six-week exercise class at the Nicholas County YMCA called “Movement for Moyo.”

She will be asking participants in her class to donate to the Amy For Africa cause. Watkins will have information available and a container for class members to put in spare change or other bigger donations.

“I want to combine my passions for helping people and fitness to raise some money for Africa,” Watkins said. “Amy (Compston) spoke at my church (Carlisle United Methodist Church) and I knew I wanted to part of it in some way.”

Watkins is one of 55 who have signed up to wear the AFA jersey in road races. Shelby wanted to come on the May medical mission trip but couldn’t because of graduation and her high school track season.

“May is a big month for me,” she said. “I want to be involved in what they’re doing and this is one way I can do it.”

Shelby will be working with another exercise instructor at the YMCA for the first couple of weeks before taking over the class.

“She called her class Rich and I’m calling mine Movement for Moyo,” she said, referencing the area in Uganda where AFA serves.

Her classes will be Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6 to 7 p.m. It will include a 5×5 routine, where participants will repeat exercises five times, and also stretching exercises.

Watkins is a top-notch athlete who knows how to get and stay into shape. She was immediately drawn to Amy Compston because of her passion for running and helping people.

“We are so honored that Shelby would do this for us,” Compston said. “God has provided us with some great supporters. Shelby and her family are some of the best. We love them and love that church.”

Shelby is a National Honor Society member and this will be her senior leadership project, she said.

“They came to our church and explained how God led the whole group to the work in Uganda,” Shelby said. “It was inspiring.”