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Local Club Spotlight: FYR Boulder

Sep 27, 2023 | Grey, Spotlight

FYR Boulder shines as a beacon of hope for youth in the Boulder, CO community. Founded in 2023, this Local Club has quickly become a source of inspiration, empowerment, and transformation. In this interview, we sit down with Denise Montagu, the driving force behind FYR Boulder, to learn more about its inception, achievements, and aspirations for the future.

How and when did FYR Boulder start? Tell us about the success of your first FYR class!

The gym where I work out and coach, Boulder CrossFit, had held a couple of fundraisers benefiting FYR over the years, which is how I first became familiar with the program. In the summer of 2022, we hosted the Camp FYR participants for a workout, and I was so impressed with the entire event – the athletes, the volunteers, the FYR staff – all of it. I’ve been involved in a number of nonprofit organizations whose mission has been to benefit underserved youth in the community through fitness and education initiatives and have long had a passion for this type of work, so I decided to pursue an opportunity to organize as a FYR Local Club. I asked a few friends and colleagues if they’d be interested in helping, and in September of 2022, we had our first meeting to begin the planning process, and held our first class on June 7, 2023, with 12 athletes in attendance. We are so excited and proud to offer an opportunity to kids in our community who otherwise wouldn’t have access to something like this!

What are some perks of being part of the national FYR network rather than run your club and nonprofit independently?

Having started a nonprofit from scratch, I recognize the tremendous value that the national FYR organization provides to their Local Clubs and am so grateful to the entire FYR team for all of their help and support! The process was outlined step-by-step, and we really appreciated having a playbook to guide us. It’s so easy to overlook or just be unaware of requirements and best practices when taking on something like this, and all of that was done for us. The Local Club Summit in March was amazing – we learned so much and loved getting to meet other Local Club Leaders from all over the country. Also, the partnerships with all of the organizations that donate equipment, shoes, and other accessories for our athletes is a really nice bonus!

In what ways do you collaborate with other organizations or partners to amplify your impact on the community?

This is an area where we are really just getting started! So far, our most fruitful relationships are with the I Have A Dream Foundation of Boulder County and the Boulder County Probation Department. A member at Boulder CrossFit has been bringing kids from her church, and we have received support from the Boulder Chamber of Commerce to help get our message out. We will be working to establish more relationships with agencies in the eastern part of our county next; up to now, we’ve been primarily focused in Boulder but know that there are several opportunities in other areas of our county as well.

Looking ahead, what are your goals and aspirations for FYR Boulder?

Our next goal is to establish a relationship with a gym in the eastern part of our county, where we have identified an unmet need for this type of program. There are lots of underserved kids who don’t have the means to travel to Boulder to attend a class, so we’d like to bring the classes closer to them.

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