Steve’s Club. Local clubs nationwide

Photographer: Sweat RX
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A socially awkward, overweight teen walks into Steve’s Club for the first time, with so-called “anger issues” and a self-esteem problem disguised as a bad attitude. Four months later, that same teen has a whiteboard’s worth of accomplishments, new friends, and a ready smile.

What changed? In truth, it’s still the same kid. It’s the same school environment and the same life challenges. But two key things have changed: the kid has a brand new set of tools and has cultivated the willingness to use them. The true “tools” of CrossFit aren’t the bars, the kettlebells, or the rings. The tools are the coaches, the challenges, and the work itself. CrossFit begins as an outlet for the pent-up energy of a kid with few options and low expectations and turns into a place to grow in both physical strength and mental fortitude.The keys to success at Steve’s Club are no different from the keys to anyone’s success, whether from a disadvantaged community or one at the highest level of opportunity. At Steve’s Club, the core values of integrity, respect, self-improvement, teamwork, support, positivity, discipline, character, and a sense of community are pivotal to lasting success and a strong sense of self. We teach these values with our motto in mind: “One kid at a time.” We know that CrossFit is a powerful vehicle for personal change. We know that change requires just a few committed individuals. We also know that the sum of small details, done with consistency and care, can have the greatest impact. This impact is now felt at more than 10 local clubs across the United States. The coaching, mentorship, and positive environments they provide are placing the tools for success squarely in kids’ hands–and they are thriving.

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Steve’s Club Camden, located outside Camden, NJ, one of the nation’s most crime-ridden cities, has developed pilot programs to offer templates to other local Steve’s Clubs, including an annual career day, a mentorship and tutoring program, a rewards program, and a Steve’s Club store.

With the support of multiple CrossFit affiliates in Sacramento, a local California club called FIT (Firebreathers-in-Training) works exclusively with at-risk young women, many of whom are from the state juvenile justice system.

FIT strives to expose young women to a wide variety of CrossFit activities, including Olympic weightlifting.

Kelly’s Champions, a local club led by Kelly McQueen with the sponsorship of CrossFit Cypress based in Houston, TX, has provided goal-setting workshops, participated in local CrossFit competitions, and recently started an all-girls program (FitGirls) at the local elementary school.

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Steve’s Club King of Prussia, with sponsoring CrossFit affiliate CrossFit King of Prussia in Bridgeport, PA, has established valuable mentorship opportunities for its youth, including a partnership with the local Police Athletic League. Steve’s Club NYC, with sponsoring CrossFit affiliate CrossFit Virtuosity, provides athletes with opportunities to train to be mentors and coaches for younger athletes through the coaches’ training program of CrossFit Virtuosity.

In West Palm Beach, FL, Steve’s Club of the Palm Beaches, with sponsoring CrossFit affiliate CrossFit BGI, works with the teens of Vita Nova. Vita Nova is comprised of young men who have aged out of foster care and are living in a transitional home.

Steve’s Club Nashville, led by Coach Rebecca Brown with the support of CrossFit 615, has organized multiple fundraising events, including Beat the Streets and the Scary Strong Games. In conjunction with IMA CrossFit and CrossFit Mayhem, Steve’s Club Nashville (the gym of CrossFit Games champion Rich Froning Jr.) put on the Valentine’s Day Mayhem event.

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The mission of each local club is the same: bring fitness, mentorship, and guidance to at-risk youths. And it’s the support of the CrossFit community that drives us!

You, your CrossFit family, and your community can help further our mission. If you’re hosting a CrossFit event, consider donating a portion of entry fees to the local club nearest you. You can set up a Steve’s Club athlete scholarship of any size, for any purpose, from internships to travel funds to send an athlete to witness the CrossFit Games in person. If you’re interested in donating, volunteering, starting your own local club, or simply learning more, please join us at

with Lee Knight and Steve Liberati

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