On November 23, CrossFit Ladysmith will join gyms across the country in CF24, an annual fitness fundraiser in support of Special Olympics Canada.
CF24 began in 2012 as a way to engage fitness and CrossFit enthusiasts in Special Olympics programs. Motionball, a national non-profit that raises funds and awareness for the Special Olympics played a large role in organizing the original fundraiser. CF24 puts participants through 24 CrossFit workouts over 24 hours.
CrossFit Ladysmith co-owner Tylor Nelson said the gym jumped at the chance to suppor the special Olympics and take on the challenge of CF24.
“We like to support anything that’s in support of sport or activity, and Special Olympics is a great cause,” Nelson said.
This will be Nelson’s first time participating in CF24. Co-owner Braiden Stevenson is also participating, as well as a few other gym members. Some members will join for various workouts at different parts of the day.
The gym will be open for the community to join in the workouts at 12:00 pm, 1:00 pm, and 2:00 pm. Those workouts are designed to be beginner friendly.
“If people want to come in to watch or donate, that’s totally cool, but we’d love to get as many people coming in at those times as we can to join in for a fun little work out,” Nelson said.
Donations can be made at the gym, or online at : cf24.ca/sponsor/?id=3488. 70 percent of funds raised by CrossFit Ladysmith will go to Special Olympics BC. The remaining 30 percent will go to the Special Olympics Canada Foundation.
President and CEO for Special Olympics BC, Dan Howe, said that fundraisers like CF24 go a long way in supporting Special Olympics programs.
“We’re incredibly excited. Not only are they raising money, but the awareness they’re generating for the organization is fantastic,” Howe said.
Funds raised from CF24 will go toward supporting the over 5,200 athletes involved in Special Olympics programs. Programs are offered to individuals as young as two years old, up to those in their 80s. The Special Olympics helps athletes who simply want to get involved in sport, or athletes who want to compete on the world stage.
“To be able to offer those opportunities is fairly expensive, and the only reason we can do it is because of the significant sponsors, and the significant effort by individuals,” Howe said. “The Motionball group and the CrossFit groups are just one example of creating that awareness, and creating that fundraising so that we’re able to offer all of those opportunities right across the country.”
Howe said that the Special Olympics helps individuals with intellectual disabilities have a sense of belonging and engagement in the community. He also noted that people with intellectual disabilities often have greater health issues than people who do not.
“A lot of it comes down to activity. People with an intellectual disability are not as active as others, the potentially are not provided with the same nutrition as others, they’re excluded from activity more, and they do not have the same access to healthcare that others have. So, when we can engage somebody in programs like Special Olympics, then we are addressing many of those issues,” Howe said.
Howe will not be participating in CF24 himself, however he ‘applauds and is in awe’ of what CF24 participants can do.
“I really want to thank CrossFit Ladysmith for stepping up and saying they want to be involved. I really want to thank all of those people who are engaged in trying to raise awareness and money for us by participating in CF24,” Howe said. “And, I really want to thank all the people who support them. Because, without that support we wouldn’t have the support we need to run our programs on the Island, in British Columbia, and across Canada.”