CrossFit HCS Expands Inclusion Efforts Through Trans Health Matters Movement
In 2019, CrossFit HCS in Ferndale, MI introduced Robin Hood Fitness, a program aimed at broadening its reach to people who don’t have access to general physical preparedness training. Owners Sarah “SayKay” Brown and Cam Brown expanded their community support to marginalized communities by creating the Black Health Matters movement and now have a new focus, the Trans Health Matters movement.
How it started: After moving CrossFit HCS into a larger space, the gym sought out to supplement its own offerings and support trainers who lost their building or were not ready to sign a lease yet.
- “There’s a long history of…minorities and LGBTQ being denied loans that could come easier for other people,” SayKay Brown said. “If we have trainers that are like-minded like ourselves…that’s more of a community having a wider range to choose from for trainers and health providers that not only look like them, but they can be comfortable with.”
- The tumultuous events in cities across the US last summer prompted SayKay and Cam Brown to provide more inclusivity in the CrossFit community through the Black Health Matters movement. They sold T-shirts with a reflective “Black Health Matters” logo to spread awareness around marginalized communities, raise money to supplement members who couldn’t afford a full-price membership, and keep CrossFit HCS on its feet during the pandemic.
One big thing: This year, Robin Hood Fitness has continued to expand on its Black Health Matters movement through the Trans Health Matters movement.
- “Trans Health Matters covers all Trans people. Trans health is often overlooked in the Black community, and we wanted to highlight the fact that Black Trans people are included in Black Health Matters,” SayKay Brown said.
- Although in the early stages, this movement speaks “to the current attack on Trans kids in sports and the continued targeting of the LGBTQIA+ community.” The T-shirt sales will continue to open up more scholarship memberships and Kids camp spots at CrossFit HCS.
- Robin Hood Fitness has also confirmed a partnership with The OUT Foundation, a non-profit organization whose mission is to “remove the barriers that block LGBTQ+ individuals’ access and participation in fitness, health and wellness,” to help promote the movement.
- In April, the program sold out of a test batch of T-shirts and plans on restocking soon. T-shirt can be purchased through the CrossFit HCS online store when they are back in stock.
Why it matters: Along with helping members access CrossFit, SayKay and Cam Brown believe the Trans Health Matters movement will benefit the entire fitness community.
- “We are talking about getting a whole grasp on how we can help people. If we care about the mentality of our Trans people as a whole, we can start talking about how we can help everyone as a whole,” Cam Brown said.
- “The least cared for person being helped moves everyone forward, and that’s the biggest mentality,” SayKay Brown added.
- It’s also worth remembering that CrossFit announced following, the 2018 Games that from the 2019 competitive season onward, transgender athletes would be allowed to compete in the division in which they identify.
Inside the design: Cam Brown put a lot of thought into creating a logo that would resonate with the Trans community.
- He hand-drew the Trans Health Matters design on a small whiteboard before transferring it to a computer to be digitized.
- “I didn’t want to make it overly masculine or feminine or habit-toned…I wanted it to be unique,” Cam Brown said.
- Every font and placement of the letters, and colors were carefully thought-out to ensure the T-shirt would impact the community.
- “He’s been deep diving into Trans health and the issues surrounding that community,” SayKay Brown said. “He put a lot of time and effort into creating it and reaching out to people to get their input so that it looked right.”
The bottom line: Michigan was one of the most shut-down states in the country, and although COVID had stopped large events, SayKay and Cam Brown found a way to help the community through it all.
- “We want to see everyone more fit and more healthy,” Cam Brown said.