On September 1, 2018, the CrossFit Foundation in partnership with hundreds of CrossFit affiliates raised nearly $100,000 to support kids’ health and fitness. The CrossFit Foundation’s first-ever CrossFit For Kids: Saved by the Barbell community workout raised funds to increase CrossFit opportunities for kids in schools, parks, neighborhoods, and communities around the world.
Each year, rates of chronic diseases like type-2 diabetes, obesity, and liver disease—conditions once associated with the sick and elderly—rise among children, from toddlers to teenagers. Despite this pattern, schools continue to reduce and dilute their physical education programs, from recess to gym. Faulty nutrition education and sugar-stocked vending machines only compound these problems.
The Saved by the Barbell community fundraiser workout, now scheduled annually, addresses the rising rates of childhood chronic disease and sedentarism by supporting free CrossFit programs for kids in the school districts and communities that need them most.
“Every day I’m faced with kids with obesity, diabetes, fatty liver, constipation, fatigue, etc. caused by lifestyle,” said pediatrician Dr. Shakha Gillin, MD, FAAP. “CrossFit Kids gives kids a foundation of exercise and nutrition to fight chronic disease. We can change the statistics.”
Over 250 CrossFit affiliate gyms in more than a dozen countries hosted or participated in a Saved by the Barbell event over the weekend, including affiliates on military bases serving deployed service members and affiliates operating in K-12 school districts.
CrossFit affiliates already lead the fight for kids’ health and fitness, with over 1,800 Registered CrossFit Kids Programs in affiliates around the world. There are over 1,000 CrossFit programs in schools today. The Saved by the Barbell fundraiser expands these efforts: proceeds from the workout support the development and growth of CrossFit programs for kids in dozens of communities through scholarships for teacher training and fitness equipment grants for schools and supporting the health and fitness of thousands of children through a network of charities funded by the CrossFit Foundation.
“The CrossFit affiliate community’s response to the Saved by the Barbell fundraiser was powerful and immediate,” said Olivia Leonard, CrossFit Foundation executive director. “They know firsthand what this opportunity means for kids: a path to health.”
Learn more about the annual event by visiting the CrossFit Foundation’s Saved by the Barbell website.