Burpee fundraiser will benefit Norwich fitness center’s free children’s program – News – The Bulletin
NORWICH — For those that don’t know, a burpee is a pushup immediately followed by a jumping jack. It may sound tough, but Steve Starke is confident he can do 1,000 of them in one go.
“I have that no-quit mentality,” Starke said.
On Oct. 17, The Norwich Fitness Center will be having a burpee challenge in support of its free athletic programs for local kids. It will start this Sunday through the center’s Community Outreach’s Basketball Prep Conditioning. Starke, along with fitness center owner Gina Facchini, will be the regular coaches for the program, along with having various guests. The first guest will be Desmond Williams, a professional European basketball player, and a college friend of Facchini’s.
Facchini’s inspiration for the program, along with much of what she does in life, was inspired by her time in foster care and people inviting her to softball practice when growing up.
“If it wasn’t for that, I don’t know where I’d be,” Facchini said.
With that in mind, it’s important to Facchini that the program remain free of charge.
“We want to help kids in need, so a paid program isn’t going to work,” Facchini said.
Facchini also said the conditioning program is important because school sports are at a standstill due to the coronavirus, but the kids and teens still need to train.
As for Starke, he has had some experience doing some coaching for the children’s basketball team for Norwich Recreation Department.
“I’m good with the fundamentals and the young kids, so that’s why they brought me on,” Starke said.
Starke, while known around Norwich for his artwork, displayed on clothes, jersey barriers, and even the walls of Norwich Fitness Center, has grown a passion for physical fitness as an adult, and he wants to share it with local kids.
“I always thought, ‘wow, I could have been so much better if I started early,’” Starke said.
Starke also felt it was important to offer the program free to kids.
“If it’s pay to play, it’s discouraging,” Starke said.
The program will cover the physical training side of things, from various drills and exercises, to the game itself, with basketball equipment being added in the following weeks. Facchini aims to have 30-50 kids attend each day, broken up into three waves at 8, 9 and 10 each Sunday morning. So far, they’ve had eight parents ask, but Facchini also said she’s been talking with Norwich Night Flight, to see if that local basketball league’s kids would also like to attend.
As for the burpee challenge, Facchini said that was Starke’s idea.
“As a CrossFit gym, we do burpees all the time, so it just came up, and we went with it,” Facchini said.
Even though the fundraiser is next month, they’ve already raised $1,000 toward it. Facchini said many of the participants are regular gym members, as “CrossFitters are a little crazy and they love doing burpees.”