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Running a CrossFit Facility Tips and guidance on how to open and operate a CrossFit gym.

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Old 01-01-2006, 09:43 AM   #1
Garrett Smith
Member Garrett Smith is offline
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Tucson  AZ
Posts: 2,264
I'm looking to start a CrossFit club at the University of Arizona, a fledgling community that will grow into a full-time facility here. For now, Bear Down Gym is relatively empty, has four OL platforms w/ bumpers, plenty of DBs, and other miscellaneous equipment. A great space for us to use--free for students, only $60 a semester for non-students.

On to my request. I personally have no experience with the management of a university club other than being a previous member of the UA's triathlon club, and a pretty lackadaisical member at that.

For those who have been in higher positions of university clubs, I'm asking you for any specific do's and don'ts of running a sports club. Things you did that were successful, and things you might have done that didn't help the club.

Thank you in advance.

Dr. G
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Old 01-01-2006, 10:11 AM   #2
Neal Thompson
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Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Boston  MA
Posts: 87

I know there is a group out of MIT that Drew Barker runs. I am not sure if it is an official club or not but I can e-mail him to get him to chime in for you.

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Old 01-01-2006, 07:30 PM   #3
Tom Brose
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Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Washington   DC
Posts: 801
I think that the University club setting can be a really great way for CrossFit to grow. I started looking into this as I needed more space for my group, and I work with the students anyway. What I found was that the club sports manager was unable to figure out how I could get my non students into the gym. i ended up finding a good outside location, so i went with that.

The good thing about forming a club is the use of the equipment/ facility, as well as some school funding. If you get the group running, the Univ. may fund you around $1000 per semester. The drawbacks that I have found are:

You need students to run it, and they usually are not very organized.

Lots of school paperwork.

You will need a faculty sponsor.

Still, i do hope to get the idea rolling, just not my priority right now. I do coach the American University rugby club, and am used to dealing with students. We have had to have alot of alum help, as even though my team is full of honor students, they can't really organize by themselves.
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Old 01-03-2006, 06:24 PM   #4
Roger Smith
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Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Calgary  AB
Posts: 392
I had a little experience a few years ago with a mma group. We didn't need a faculty sponsor. There was a lot of paperwork. Very specific about what you would and wouldn't allow (we broke most our rules as we had to say no contact LOL). We got some $$ from the university off and on. All members were suppose to pay dues. Only a few new ones ever did LOL. The BIGGEST problem by far for us was getting a room. There were tons of rooms, but they were signed out by x group for years. Once a group had a room, they could keep it forever. Thus we had late hours. We had students and non-student. No one really checked on us much....
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Old 01-04-2006, 06:22 PM   #5
Garrett Smith
Member Garrett Smith is offline
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Tucson  AZ
Posts: 2,264
I'd appreciate you emailing him if you get a chance.

We do have one current UA student (I'm an alum) and his roommate is a UA staff doctor. We've got the personnel requirements covered to start a sports club. I've started talking with Tony Budding about affiliation.

I do know that when I was attending the UA there was an OL club (I did triathlons back then, my mistake, good thing I got sick & tired of the endurance training/weak/skinny/OCD/lacto-ovo-soy-vegetarian thing, everyone makes mistakes, I did most of mine all at once). When the coach left (Trevor Cottrell), so did the club. The equipment stayed. If the students who take over the club after we get a full Tucson CF facility going screw the whole thing up, at least there will be a 'backup' place. At least that's my plan :happy:

Another good thing is that the new fitness director of the UA is a 'strength coach', even so far as buying two OL platforms for the main Student Rec Center! (Crazy, man! Don't weights fall out of the sky over those things?) I almost sh*t when I walked in my old gym and saw them--honestly, I used to be one of the staff trainers who had to tell people not to do standing OH lifts! How things have changed...I've introduced him to the CF world, he's still a little apprehensive, yet he seems open to the idea. If we limit access to things like the climbing ropes to CF club members only, I think he will be cool with the idea.

Any other ideas will be appreciated.

Dr. G
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