Mental toughness: the ability to self-encourage and self-motivate when things get physically and mentally hard is a critical component of growing into a resilient adult. CrossFit workouts are accessible, they’re also designed to be challenging; to require youth to push through physical and mental barriers in order to achieve the goal, finish the workout, hit the mark. We want our youth to push boundaries, learn lessons, and surprise themselves – and what better way to do this than by also getting fit.


We have received several more applications from youth for sponsorship at CrossFit gyms. We do however need your help.

You can:

1. Sponsor a youth for a month, 3 months, 6 months or a year. Youth CrossFit fees average $150.00 per month.

2. Have an event at your gym and donate a portion of the proceeds to Harbourside Youth Foundation.

3. Help us spread the news. Post our newsletter on your gym feed.

Remember you will receive a tax deductible receipt for any donation of $50 or more. Any donation is greatly appreciated!




Thank you to Temenos Athletics, who held a fundraiser in support of our cause. They ran Temple Race, where each team of two participated in a scavenger hunt along with physical challenges. All proceeds went to HYF. Thank you for your generous donation! They have also started a youth CrossFit class. If you live in Kelowna and have youth, you will love that gym—they are amazing. Check them out!



Our recent Festivus event was such a rousing success and it couldn’t have been without all the people who worked hard to make it happen. Thank you to Rocky Point for the generous donation of their space and thank you to everyone who came by our booth to chat and find out more about what we do. Each person who donated via Givewise, bought snacks or drinks, or dropped some cash at the booth is making a tangible difference in the lives of young people in our community. With your support, we raised $1,000 at this event!

Education, access to resources, and mentorship are key to making the world a better place, and it all starts with our youth. 

– Avonte Campinha-Bacote


The great folks at Temenos Athletics are helping support our mission by putting on an event for us on Friday, June 23 from 5-7pm.

In this race, teams of 2 will compete in a scavenger hunt plus 4 physical challenges. The winning team will score multiple great prizes!

You don’t need to be a member to participate. Entry fee is $20 per person, with proceeds going to support the work of Harbourside Youth Foundation.


Summer is here and there are lots of kids looking for a way to connect with peers and burn some energy! There are over 28 CrossFit gyms in BC that have kids and youth programs. If you’re putting on a summer camp and have youth that need sponsorship, please reach out. This is what we do and we’re happy to help as much as we possibly can!


We’re excited to be debuting our new website this week! Head over and check it out now. It’s got all the information you need for donating and supporting our mission, partnering with us to provide services to youth, or applying for a sponsorship for a young person in your life.

Generosity Champion: Sharon Thielmann of Harbourside Youth Foundation

This month, we have got a fascinating story to share about Harbour Side Youth Foundation (HSY) and the incredible journey that the founder Sharon Thielmann has been on that led her to establish HSY.

Sharon found her inspiration for HSY through her own battle with addiction, by channelling her energy into CrossFit. In essence, she traded in her unhealthy addictions for a very healthy one! In her mid-50s, Sharon took up competing in CrossFit and even continued into her early 60s. Her proudest moment was placing 25th in the women’s worldwide CrossFit games and placing first in the women’s Canada West division. However, it wasn’t just the medals that made a difference. The friendships and support she found within the CrossFit community helped transform her into the active and vibrant woman she is today.

Retirement wasn’t on Sharon’s radar. She knew she had more to give, so she followed her heart. Sharon saw the incredible impact that CrossFit had on her own life and wanted to share that with underserved youth. She started reaching out to CrossFit gyms and planning fundraiser events where youth could attend the gym, and the funds sponsored them to train. Sharon believed that being part of the CrossFit community could do wonders for these youth, way beyond physical exercise. It was about giving them a sense of belonging, improving their health, and offering them impactful mentorship. She knew firsthand how commitment and accountability could change someone’s path for the better.

Looking ahead, Sharon’s big vision for HSY is to partner with inner-city schools. She wants to create lunchtime or after-school programs where youth can go to nearby CrossFit gyms. The foundation would sponsor the space, equipment and coach for the training to cover the cost for the students. Currently, there are periods when CrossFit gyms are not holding any classes, and Sharon sees that as an opportunity for the program to occur in that given time. She also imagined organizing CrossFit competitions at these partner gyms, with affordable entry fees and all the proceeds going straight to the foundation. It’s a fantastic way to raise funds and make sure more kids have access to this life-changing experience. When attending the CrossFit gym three to four times a week, sponsoring a youth costs around $120-$170 monthly. For families that are underserved and cannot afford this cost, this is not an opportunity even possible for their children.

Right now, the youth who receive sponsorship are selected when the CrossFit gym owners approach Sharon and vouch for them. These owners are deeply involved in their communities and understand the positive impact that training can have on young lives. To be sponsored means they spend more time in a safe and driven environment, limiting the likelihood of getting involved in substances and gangs at an early age. The mentors can speak life and encouragement into the youth, moving them to become more than their current circumstances allow.

Sharon has such a wonderful perspective on generosity. She believes it comes from a place of humility and kindness which everyone shows in different ways. Through Sharon’s walk of founding HSY, every donation, big or small, touches her deeply and she is always quick to express her heartfelt gratitude. It’s truly humbling for her to see the support pouring in, especially from her incredible board members. They bring diverse skills and talents to the table, forming a united team with a shared passion for HSY’s mission.

Though HSY is a non-profit entity they do not have the ability to issue donation tax receipts to donors, and that’s where a partnership with GiveWise comes in. Through GiveWise, HSY can receive donations and an immediate tax receipt is provided to the donors. It’s been a gamechanger, freeing up Sharon and her team to focus on expanding their CrossFit sponsorship program. They’re constantly seeking new connections with CrossFit gyms and building their online presence. Sharon has learned so much through this entrepreneurial journey, and she’s committed to making a difference—one day at a time.

Note: This post originally appeared on the Givewise blog.