A nationwide epidemic.

Since 1970, the percentage of children and adolescents affected by obesity has more than tripled. In 2016, one out of every five children was obese.

Unfortunately across the nation, recess is becoming a thing of the past and cafeteria food and sugar-stocked vending machines only contribute to the problem. With limited access to affordable healthy food and exercise options, children living in underserved communities are at even greater risk.

A functional movement.

The CrossFit community has long possessed the answer. Kids need to move. To get outside and play. To stand up from their desks and couches and go outside, go to the gym, and learn how to nourish their bodies in a safe and healthy community.

CrossFit is well ahead of the curve on working to solve this nationwide problem. Today, there are more than 3,500 CrossFit Kids registered programs at affiliates and more than 1,200 CrossFit programs in schools.

The most notable of CrossFit-based curriculum in schools is Clark County School District in Nevada, which is the fifth largest school district in the country. Shannon LeNeve, the district’s coordinator for health and physical education, implemented CrossFit programs in 48 schools in the district, with two teachers in each school having completed their L1 and CrossFit Kids courses.

“I think the things you learn from CrossFit, and the things you learn from being a part of a supportive community that wants to see you succeed and wants to see you healthy, is so important for kids,” Olivia Leonard, Executive Director of the CrossFit Foundation said. “Health benefits aside, there is a huge benefit for kids to participate.”

But despite the benefits, some schools struggle. Securing ongoing funding and convincing parents and administrators that CrossFit works can often be difficult, which happened to Cleveland High School in South East Portland earlier this year when they cut their program due to funding.

CrossFit’s new initiative.

Launching this year, Saved by the Barbell is an annual, world-wide CrossFit community Labor Day workout and fundraising effort to bring CrossFit to more kids everywhere. Similar to large-scale fundraising effort in the past like Hotshots19 and Fight Gone Bad, Saved by the Barbell proceeds will support the development and growth of CrossFit programs for kids in schools, recreation centers, and communities everywhere. The funds support things like training for teachers, getting new equipment in schools, and supporting the health and fitness of thousands of children.

“The cool thing about Saved by the Barbell is that the CrossFit community is extraordinarily generous,” Leonard said. “The way that CrossFitters operate is we explain the goal, we provide the workout and then watch them all come together and make it happen. It’s super cool.”

How to get more involved.

Join CrossFit HQ, CrossFit Foundation, and boxes everywhere on September 1 to help build the life-saving culture of CrossFit that kids need.

You can register online and do the workout on September 1, or host an event at your affiliate by emailing [email protected]com. It’s $35 and includes a t-shirt and access to the worldwide Saved by the Barbell leaderboard.


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