When Ron Webb and his wife Kellee Webb heard about a gym member who had run into financial hard times, they decided to fund her membership so she could keep going to CrossFit Equality in Houston, Texas.
- “Then a couple other folks at the gym also started doing this. Usually we would tell the owner not to tell the member who was helping out, but just let them know that someone wanted to help pay,” he said. “Just within our little box, we were seeing all types of opportunities to help.”
This led Webb to start thinking bigger. “We were doing good for individuals, but I realized we could also do good for the community as a whole, to make us stronger. We wanted to see as many people as possible benefit from CrossFit the way we have,” he said.
Webb’s answer was to found a non-profit — The Functional Life Performance Foundation — in January, 2020 whose mission is “to remove barriers for individuals wanting to improve their health and fitness.”
One big thing: In the first 90 days of the Foundation’s existence, they raised $5,000 through donations, which have since been spread out to 25 different individuals in need.
The details: The Foundation is in the process of building three different types of programs.
The first program is for individuals who want to improve their fitness.
- “We connect them with the resources to get them started in CrossFit,” said Webb, who is also a coach at CrossFit Equality.
- “And it has become clear already that when you have an economically disadvantaged individual they’re going to show up and not have shoes and whatever else they need for the gym,” he explained about a situation that already arose. To help out, Webb went to his local Reebok outlet and the manager donated a pair of shoes for the athlete in need.
The second program is for coaches.
- “We are providing coaching certifications, and our goal here is to really drive diversity within CrossFit,” he said.
- The foundation has already sponsored one aspiring coach by funding his CrossFit Level 1 Certificate Course. “He is an African American and just attended his seminar (at the end of July)…Our next step is to start the shadowing process to get him experience as a coach and ready to hire on at a box,” Webb said.
The third is a group program.
- “Currently, we’re setting up a group CrossFit program at an adolescent treatment centre and we’re hoping to do one at an adult centre as well,” he said, adding that he’s also in talks with a camp for veterans with PTSD, as well as some local elementary schools about offering CrossFit classes.
The big picture: Webb’s ultimate goal is to help diversify CrossFit by bringing health and fitness to as many people in need as possible. He’s hoping the Foundation’s non-profit Advisory Committee, which is made up of individuals within their target demographic, will make diversification easier.
- “I really want these programs developed and administered with heavy involvement from those within the diverse community we want to see in CrossFit,” he said.
- He added: “There is a need, and there are a lot of people who want to be involved in helping solve this problem. So we’re just going to keep going where the need is.”
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