Crunch time: Cedarville University student has created fitness-inspired card game

Alayna Ackley, a Cedarville University student, has created Encore, a fitness-inspired, competitive card game.
Alayna Ackley, a Cedarville University student, has created Encore, a fitness-inspired, competitive card game.

Credit: Cedarville University

Credit: Cedarville University

A Cedarville University student has found an innovative way to make working out a fun, competitive activity.

Alayna Ackley, a junior Adolescent and Young Life Science Education major at Cedarville University has created Encore, a card game that turns working out into a fun, friendly competition. Currently, the card game focuses on abdominal workouts with the hope that it will soon expand to cardio, leg and arm workouts.

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Ackley first created the game to push herself to stay in shape during the nationwide COVID-19 shutdown.

“Ever since I was little, I’ve had a passion to turn everything into a game,” said Ackley in a press release. “Encore is an extension of that passion, but I really got serious about making it more when I started sharing my idea with my cross country teammates at Cedarville.”

The Cedarville University student was inspired to make the jump from personal project to professional business when she noticed an at-home workout trend sweeping the nation. Essentially, she saw a demand, and began working hard to supply that demand with Encore.

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“This semester, I actually had the time to make this work,” said Ackley. “As a cross country athlete, I usually have a lot of races during the school year, but this year we had a little more free time. And I have a strong belief in making the most of every opportunity and the most of life and its circumstances.”

Along with Ackley, there are several other Cedarville University cross country students who are helping Encore achieve success, including Abby Brown, Madeleine Spaulding, Rachel Sweeney, Abi Skurdal and Haley Ansiel.

Cedarville University Haley Ansiel plays Encore, a competitive, fitness-inspired card game.
Cedarville University student Haley Ansiel plays Encore, a competitive, fitness-inspired card game.

Credit: Cedarville University

Credit: Cedarville University

“Alayna had a great idea, and I loved playing her game," said Skurdal, a freshman student from Highlands Ranch, Colo. "So, why not be a part of it? I know that our college majors are often flexible, so even though I am on the path for pre-med, I’m not closing the door to business.”

Encore’s first public appearance was at Cedarville’s Pitch, an event that is similar to ABC’s “Shark Tank.” The workout-inspired card game won first place. After receiving some feedback from The Pitch, Ackley and her team decided to set up a direct-to-customer business model in which they would reach out directly to customers, like sports coaches from middle schools, high schools and universities, along with the Cedarville community.

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Though she wants to pursue further success with Encore, Ackey wants to eventually hand off the business to a fellow team member or another trusted private investor, as her goal is to eventually become a missionary in China as a science teacher.

Those who are interested in playing the card game can pre-order it by visiting Encore’s website. Encore is $12.99 and includes abdominal exercises for those at every fitness level.

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