Lives Changed At Steve’s Club Leadership Camp 2014

Posted on September 12, 2014 by Steve Liberati

A few weeks ago, 30 Steve's Club kids, from across the nation, came together for a Leadership Camp in beautiful Indian Gap, Pennsylvania for a week of fitness, learning and laughter. The kids went through a rigorous application process to be chosen for this life-changing opportunity. They answered questions about their future goals, accomplishments they are most proud of, and their definition of leadership.

"Being a leader is not about being in charge or giving commands," said Caleb from Colorado. "It's about doing the right thing and encouraging others around you to do that too."

The Steve's Club National Program staff led by Steve Liberati, Lee Knight and Tiffany Dalagelis created a week-long itinerary packed with workouts, inspirational guest coaches, and team-building activities focused on problem-solving, communication, and leadership. Guest coaches from around the country flew in to participate and facilitate. Coaches from Local Clubs included Coach Blanco from SC New York City, Coach Rebecca from SC Nashville, and Coach Eric from Unbroken Kids.

Josh Murphy from CrossFit HQ, Tanner Cook, who taught Olympic Weightlifting, Abe Pelton and Drew Kenney of the US Marine Corps, Austin Malleolo and Denise Thomas from Reebok One and CrossFit Seminar staff, Greg Amundson of CrossFit Amundson and Erin Kelly of CrossFit 1Force rounded out the Guest Coach line up.

"There aren't words to explain the impact of Leadership Camp," said Denise. "I wondered what words of wisdom or tools could I offer the kids, but in the end, I received the life lessons. Steve's Club Leadership Camp is the product of tireless effort, constant love and care, and always finding a way to say 'yes' when it would be easy to say 'no.' It's an honor to be invited, and I will always support Steve's Club."

This is the second year for the Leadership Camp. In addition to providing fitness and enrichment activities, the kids had fun too! They went swimming, kayaking, canoeing, played sports and enjoyed campfire activities like singing and making s'mores. The amazing support from our donors and the CrossFit community, as well as the sale of Steve's PaleoGoods, allows us to continue to host this Leadership Camp at no cost to the Steve's Club athletes that are selected. The goal is to expand our reach, and invite more kids to attend next year.

"Everyone has a calling in life," said Ray from Steve's Club Camden. "Steve's Club Leadership Camp showed me anything is possible. Leading others is my true calling."

"This camp experience is a first for many of our kids," said Steve. "It's a place for them to learn and grow, but also a place to relax. Some of the realities of their lives are impossible to imagine. Many aren't safe walking around their own neighborhoods. Steve's Club is a safe environment and an extended family for these kids. Your purchase truly changes lives."

"I'm no longer afraid of being caught up in the streets," Ray added. "I am stronger physically and mentally. Thanks to Steve's Club, I am ready to change the world!"  

*Update: check out the video from the 2014 Summer Leadership Camp:

Bomani Strength Brings CrossFit to High School Athletes

Posted on September 13, 2013 by Steve's Club National Program
Filed under: Local Clubs

Steve's Club Local Club, Bomani Strength, is helping young athletes take their games to the next level!

Started in January 2013 by leader Amanda Stanoszek, Bomani Strength is more than just a training outlet for at-risk youth in East Cleveland, Ohio. Coach Amanda wants to be rememberd as more than just a coach, but also “as being a great mentor, coach, leader and role model for my students and athletes!”

Amanda has been able to bring this commitment to her work with youth during the school sports pre-season. Athletes work on conditioning and strength to boost their confidence, their fitness, and get prepared to succeed in school sports.

“Due to limited equipment at the school, I offered to bring equipment purchased through donation funds for Bomani, and train the athletes either before or after school,” she said.

The athletes have appreciated the new and different opportunities the equipment has provided.

“The kids love the variety and have seen growth,” Amanda said. “Last year the girls’ basketball team won their league championships [thanks to] the training we did together!”

Not only are the athletes learning from their coach, but the coach, has also been the one learning from the athletes. Under the supervision of other coaches, Amanda has had the opportunity to do the training right along with the athletes, and on long runs, sprints and hill repeats she finds the kids encouraging her, instead of the other way around.

“On these days, the athletes are encouraging ME to do the runs and sprints…they yell and encourage me to keep going. Just last week I had a student run behind me on a very steep hill run which we repeated five times. The last one her hand was on my back so I wouldn't stop!”

Steve’s Club isn’t just about coaching the kids – it’s also about coaching the coaches, developing confidence, and honing mental toughness! Bomani Strength continues to do an amazing job on all fronts.  

Featured Club: Steve’s Club NYC

Posted on November 08, 2011 by Lee Knight
Filed under: Local Clubs

"Where are all your other friends today?"
"They all went to go fight these other kids, I was supposed to go, but decided to come here instead, I don't need that today but I did need this."
- SCNYC Athlete

Steve's Club NYC started training at-risk kids in May 2011. They took some time to answer a few questions for their local club profile. Check it out!

When did you start training at-risk youth? May 2011

Where do they train? CrossFit Virtuosity (Brooklyn, NY)

How many kids do you work with?  About 20, depends on school schedule

How often do you train them?  3x/week

Who are the trainers and admins for your Local Steve's Club program?

Keith Wittenstein, Head Coach
Juan Blanco, Coach
Nicole Grubard, Assistant Coach
Dave Askenase, Assistant Coach
Matt Bernstein, Assistant Coach
Samantha Orme, Admin

How did you get started? How did you find the kids in the community?  We started working with a local wrestling program (Beat The Streets Wrestling), then expanded to include some rugby players from a NYC-based inner city program. 

What is one of the best or most rewarding experiences you've had so far?  

When we went to the stand up paddleboarding event at Rockaway Beach (part of the CrossFit Sport Series), four of the five kids we brought had never been swimming let alone been swimming in the ocean, and three of the five kids Steve had with him had never swum. Within 15 minutes we had every kid swimming like a fish and trying the stand up paddleboarding. You would have never thought that on the car ride over most of them had never swum before!

How have the kids improved through their involvement with Steve's Club, or embodied on of the values of Steve's Club?

After the paddleboarding event we had all the Steve's Club athletes do a workout that involved some swimming. Dave was stationed in the water with several lifeguards. Ray, one of SCNYC's athletes, fell off his board and Dave could see he was struggling in the deeper waters. Dave dove off his board to made sure Ray was safe, and took him into land with the lifeguards. Ray was embarrassed and upset with himself for struggling, but we reminded him how much he had learned and how much better of a swimmer he had become just in one day. Twenty minutes later Ray was asking if he could go back out, and we couldn't get him out of the water the rest of the afternoon. We were really impressed by his perseverance and determination to become a better swimmer. He has shown the same fortitude in the gym trying to become a better athlete every class. 

Quotes from the kids:

"All the kids in class are telling me how swole I look!"

"I gotta find a way to do CrossFit everyday, this stuff is awesome!"

"Where are all your other friends today?" "They all went to go fight these other kids, I was supposed to go, but decided to come here instead, I don't need that today but I did need this."

Follow them on Facebook:

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