Making a Difference - Steve’s Club Denver
One of the great things about the Steve’s Club model is that it can adapt to the needs and resources of different communities around the country. In Denver, they built their program from the interests of their founder and founding board, the volunteerism and financial resources of a nearby community, and some of the highest needs kids from their corner of the city. The combination of variables produced one of the larger and fastest growing clubs in the Steve’s Club family.
Within parameters set down by the National Program, each Local Club can decide who they work with and what at-risk population they will serve. In Denver, the founders want to pull from their immediate community, while also serving kids with high mental health needs. In partnership with Third Way Centers, an area non-profit providing housing and treatment to teens, Steve’s Club Denver (SCD) works with 3 different types of athletes in treatment.
For one, they send coaches twice a week to a locked residential treatment center and these athletes are considered higher risk for their recent history of neglect, abuse, or legal problems. Secondly, they work with more stable teens who attend a school run by Third Way and access CrossFit Broadway, or who live in Third Way group homes and workout at Project Rise Fitness-Stapleton. These students have staff with them at all times, but are farther along in their treatment than those in the locked facility. The third type of participant is an older adolescent, living in an apartment run by Third Way, and attending workouts at CrossFit Broadway.
“Since our start, we’ve wanted to follow students within Third Way from their highest risk, to their most stable. This way, Steve’s Club gets to be a consistent part of their week, every week, regardless of where they go next with their treatment.” Duncan Seawell, a clinical psychologist and the founder of SCD, takes great pride in the fact that teens within this part of his program have the benefits of consistent high intensity exercise, consistent adults as coaches and mentors, and consistent positive peer culture within workouts.
“If we know consistency is a key ingredient in healthy child development, why not mix it in with other essential ingredients like effective workouts, healthy relationships, and the good time we all enjoy by working out with our friends.”
The Denver Club is successful in a number of ways and for different reasons. Throughout their development, however, they have proven a key piece of the National Program philosophy shared by all locations: Give Local Clubs the opportunity and freedom to work with who they want and they will find a way to build an effective program for at-risk teens.
Learn more about how to start a Local Steve's Club in your community HERE.