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Women In Fitness Feature: Joy Holman

Fit Columbia and Midlands Anchor honors local women in fitness with a monthly feature celebrating their contributions to our midlands community. These women are the best of the best in the health and wellness industry. These women are local small business owners, active in the community and have a minimum of five years experience.  Our February feature is Joy Holman. Our feature is written by Alvina Peralta, Fit Columbia Intern and University of South Carolina exercise science student.

Joy Holman, head coach of the 30 time world champion Double Dutch Forces, has a history of many athletic tributes. Joy not only played professional basketball, but also played volleyball, softball, and ran track in addition to being team captain and MVP of all teams. Her prodigious athletic abilities earned her a scholarship to Benedict College. Not only is she athletic, she is also an artist and received a scholarship in honor of that talent as well.

She was born in Manhattan but moved to Lexington, South Carolina when she was only 13 months old to live with her grandma. Growing up, she stated she’s never gone out to eat at a restaurant. That changed her senior year of high school when she won a free dinner to a fancy restaurant after she won an art contest. The portrait that won her free dinner was of charcoal drawn birds with gas masks on to symbolize pollution. In addition to this award, she also drew cartoons for her high school newspaper at Lexington High School. Her prestigious art skills earned her a full ride for art school, but she did not want to give up all of her sports to focus on art. She convinced her grandma that basketball was what she wanted to do.

Joy explains her love of coaching roots from when she was a kid and sports was her way of getting out of the house. She would only go to church, school, and then it was time for sports. She wants kids to do what they love and she wants to support them in every way she can. That is why although she has never practiced double dutch jump-roping, she agreed to coach a team. At first she was hesitant, but the group of teenagers that desired to jump rope needed a coach that was over 18. Joy explains that she watched practices and that won her heart over. And 31 years later, she is still doing it.

Alvina Peralta got to know Joy Holman more by asking a few questions:

Q: What is your favorite food?

A: I love baked chicken, corn bread, broccoli, spinach, mostly southern food. I love eating those foods at Lizards thicket.

Q: Do you have any current goals or resolutions?
A: I try to be the best I can be with anything I do. I strive to be in the best health possible and pray for my friends, family, and team for their success. Currently I am trying to eat healthier and work out a lot more. I’m teaching physical education but not being healthy and so I want to change that.

Q: What is a quote you live by?
A: “It takes a village to raise a child”. My grandmother and all of her 12 kids raised me. That is what makes me want to give back. It’s the reason I’m still coaching. Also, “Get up and move”. I want to get kids more active and promote family activities. It doesn’t have to be jump roping.


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