More than 20 members of the UNC Charlotte student organization Charlotte Lifters, volunteered Oct. 3 at an event called Athletes for Autism, with all proceeds going towards Walk Now for Autism Speaks.
Athletes for Autism is an event hosted at CrossFit Harrisburg where athletes compete in various CrossFit related exercises. Each athlete gives a $25 donation to compete and spectators can also give donations to watch the athletes as they participate in the workout.
Athletes competed in teams of two, with categories for male/male, female/female and male/female. Each team raced to complete three sets consisting of five workouts for prizes. Teams had to complete repetitions of six deadlifts, 12 thrusters, 18 toes 2 bars, 24 burpees and 30 box jumps. After finishing one set, teams had to complete these workouts two more times.
Each workout had prescribed weights for athletes to lift, but weights were also scaled to make the workouts more available to some participants.
The organizations participation was organized by sophomore Estevan Torres, who is also a member of Charlotte Lifters. There were roughly 20 members of the Charlotte Lifters who volunteered to work at the event, including the Vice President and President.
“I think it will be great, I’ve volunteered at events like this, but this is the first time I’ve done anything with Athletes for Autism, so I’m really happy they were completely open to us volunteering,” said Torres.
Athletes for Autism was the first major volunteer effort that the club has participated in since its establishment in October of 2014. The club occasionally volunteered helping at local gyms, but have never participated in a large scale fundraiser like this one.
Torres saw that Athletes for Autism would be a great opportunity for the club to give back to the community and be able to help with a large scale event in the local area. It could also be used as a networking opportunity for many of the clubs members, who are looking into fitness related careers after graduation.
“With the fundraiser, I’m hoping that our club can build networking connections for the future,” said Torres. “I think that it will be a great working opportunity for the students here and I also think that it will be a great opportunity for us to gain a networking opportunity with the sponsors they have for our future events.”
During the event, the members of Charlotte Lifters primarily acted as counters for the athletes. A counter was assigned to each athlete team and would count the number of repetitions the athletes did. They also ensured that athletes completed repetitions properly.
Volunteers were also assigned to collect donations and help clean up afterwards. The event’s organizer RXtreme Games, gave club members the opportunity to compete in the event as well. Club members would even be allowed to keep the prize if they compete and win. The event organizer also gave them permission to workout once they were done volunteering.
Charlotte Lifters will continue to volunteer with fitness related events in the future. The club will be volunteering at another event called Super Fit Jan. 16, 2016. It will be held at CrossFit Steele Creek, which is also located in Charlotte.
“I’m hoping that this club will be more focused on helping volunteer at gyms, all types of gyms. I want them to partner with other companies because I’ve gotten some great networking opportunities, so I want them to have those types of opportunities too,” said Torres. “Without providing that time and giving that time back, they’re not going to get those opportunities.”
Charlotte Lifters has nearly doubled in size since last semester and currently has about 70 members. The organization is open to join for any UNC Charlotte Student.