Tricia Will grew up in a single parent household, where money was a constant struggle.
- “I could have really used a fitness program in my area to give me confidence and help me find my own strength. I really wasn’t introduced to my own strength until I was much older, so it has always been a passion of mine to empower young kids, especially minorities and underserved youth, through fitness, to give them confidence and the mindset that they have the ability to overcome the challenges they face everyday,” said the 40-year-old mother of two and owner of South Tampa CrossFit in Tampa, FL.
Two months ago, Will saw an opportunity when she came across the Ms. Health and Fitness, an online fitness competition with a USD$20,000 grand prize. The winner is determined by online voting.
- “So I submitted a few pictures and my reason for doing it and put my name in the hat,” she explained.
To her surprise, she was shortlisted and after two months of weekly cuts to the field, Will is currently sitting in second place in her group. If she can overtake the current leader by Thursday — the deadline to vote — she will advance to the finals and be one step closer to the $20,000 prize. If she does win, she has committed to using the money to begin a free fitness program for underserved, minority youth.
- “Normally we would be running an event or other type of fundraiser, but we’re limited with COVID, so I decided I will commit the $20,000 if I win and use it toward this new program we’re building,” she said.
The details: “We’re investing in a sort of shipping container idea, so we can bring equipment to various underserved communities and coach kids through CrossFit workouts. Basically we’re hoping to be able to provide structure and mentors and health and fitness to youth who really need it,” Will said.
- “There are other programs that offer fitness to kids, but they always involve going to the gym and that has all sorts of limitations. So the key is really to get out into those communities,” she explained.
- Will’s ultimate goal is to one day be able to sponsor CrossFit Level 1 courses for any kid in the program who is interested in becoming a coach.
- She has been speaking with an existing non-profit called Steve’s Club, an organization that brings fitness, nutrition, and mentorship to at-risk and underserved youth. “It will be our own program, but they’re already set up as a non-profit, so our program will be an extension of Steve’s Club,” she explained.
One unique thing: Will has also been reaching out to various CrossFit gyms in her local area to create “a collective of gyms.”
- “The idea is once these children are old enough and they want to go to a gym, they’ll be able to attend any of the participating gyms,” she said. A handful of gyms have already committed to become a part of the collective, she added.
- “With everything that’s going on in the world right now with COVID and the Black Lives Matter movement, from a local perspective, we just really want to do our part putting ourselves out there and helping underserved markets,” she said.
Cast your daily vote for Tricia Will here, or purchase a paid warrior vote, with proceeds going to wounded warriors.
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