Spotlight on Coach Aaron Scott: Making a Difference in Detroit

Ask anyone in the southeast Michigan CrossFit community, and not only will they know who Aaron Scott is, “they’ll tell you what he means to this area and how many lives he has changed for the better.”

Those are the words of Coach Scott’s friend Tony Atwater, who met Scott three years ago at a local CrossFit event.

  • “He and I both kind of stood out at the comps because we were two of usually only a handful of African Americans. I just kind of sat back and watched in amazement how people just naturally gravitated towards him,” Atwater said of his friend.
Courtesy of Tony Atwater

“He’s doing amazing things for Detroit, a community still in the process of rebuilding and certainly could use more elite fitness role models like Aaron (Scott),” added Lauren Rao, USA Weightlifting Sports Performance Coach.

Everyone knows his name because Scott works with all sorts of different communities that need help, from the African American High School student-athlete community, to the African American senior citizen community, to the caregiver community.

Sound Mind Sound Body Football Academy: For the last two years, 37-year-old Scott has been working with Sound Mind Sound Body Football Academy, a non-profit organization that helps serve student-athletes in under-served communities across the United States.

  • “I go into High Schools and talk about nutrition and food security, because a lot of these kids don’t have access to quality food, so we have been working for them to gain better access,” Scott said.
Courtesy of Aaron Scott

He also meets up with the African American students on Sundays to do some kind of fitness, from CrossFit to Yoga.

  • “The kids are extremely excited about working out and strength and conditioning, but they would just never be able to have access to a CrossFit gym. Trying to explain to their parents why they want to workout for $150 a month wouldn’t go over that well,” he said.

Because of this, Scott has focused on a lot of bodyweight movements with the students, to show them all they can do to get fit with just their bodies.

  • “Many of them don’t even have access to real gym equipment, so I have been able to use CrossFit bodyweight workouts to help show them the things they can do on their own at home or at school without much equipment,” he added.

The Senior Citizen Community: “My senior foxes, I call them. I love this group. They’re my pride and joy,” said Scott of the fitness classes he has been hosting for three years for African American seniors at a local community college in an area of the city that lacks gyms.

  • “We started with two people and now we have more than 25 who come regularly,” said Scott, adding that this group has helped him as much as he has helped them.
  • “They remind me to slow down and appreciate the small things in life,” he said.

Dementia Caregivers: Most recently, Scott has been offering two Zoom classes a week to caregivers of dementia patients. Last month, more than 1,100 people showed up to these classes.

  • “It’s a hard job they do and they often feel like they’re getting burnt out, so health and wellness is really important for them,” he said.

Though Scott has his hands in very specific communities, he didn’t necessarily plan it this way. He simply jumps on any opportunity that comes up that lets him to share his passion for health and wellness with the world.

  • “I just want to help whoever I can. It doesn’t matter who. If you’re a swimmer, or a senior citizen, it doesn’t matter. I think I can help you when it comes to strength and fitness,” he said.

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