Image Credit: Valerie Cohen
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Leading up to the 2023 CrossFit Games, Reebok announced its most inclusive program to date, the Madison Travel Fund, which offered athletes the chance to win monetary travel funds via an Instagram sweepstakes-style program.
Remind me: At a grand total of $100K, Reebok gave $2,000 to 50 total winners across all competition divisions, with everyone eligible for equal earnings. Additionally, the 50 winners were given 10 pairs of Nano X3s to give to their local box.
- However, the program extended beyond those who competed in Wisconsin and included affiliates as well, where six winning gyms were given Nano X3s for their members.
Brianna Henley, Sr. Director of Sport Footwear at Reebok, shared her thoughts behind the creation of the Madison Travel Fund Program.
- “We created the Madison Travel Fund Program as a continued effort to support and show our appreciation for the training community. With this year’s Games activation, our goal was to evolve to be more inclusive than ever…to celebrate athletes of all divisions and rankings and to shine a light on one of the most special aspects of Games, the community.”
- “We wanted to create a way to celebrate the wider community and the fans supporting and cheering on those competing athletes. We all know it takes a village to succeed, and we wanted to champion that,” said Henley.
Henley expressed that it was important that Reebok supported and backed not only the individual athletes, but those of all divisions and those working hard at their local affiliates.
The results: The winners of the Madison Travel Fund included:
- Christian Harris | Kyra Milligan | Jay Crouch | Nienke van Overveld | James Sprague
- Elisa Fuliano | Kelly Stone | Emily Loogman Rethwill | Jason Grubb | Shaylin Laure
- Nicolette Torreggiani | Jenn Ryan | Winter Rodriguez | Gonzalo Duro | Rylee Beebe
- Kelly Friel | Luciane Macias | RJ Mestre | Chloe Gauvin-David | Lucy McGonigle
- William Carter | Elaine de Rocco | Kelly Benfey | Ethan Helbig | Marissa Nichols
- Raphael Durand | Kseniia Trebetskaia | John Kim | Laurie Meschishnick | Mike Kern
- Caroline Kluttz | Aleksandra Buzunova | Colette Casey | Mijail Pedrini | PJ TeWhaiti
- Jordan Ingalsbe | Patricia McGill | Holly Hiney | Brynn Cupp | Michael van Tonder
- Tremaine Jensen | Valerie Cohen | Adam de Jong | Gintas Petrikas | Cindy Hinkle
- Charles Pienaar | Pauline Sciascia | Danica Rolfe | Caden Mavity | Bryan Wong
- Burg CrossFit | CrossFit Atakapa | Injustice CrossFit Rockingham
- Project Fitness Las Vegas Gym | CrossFit 805 | Three Fingers CrossFit VA
What they’re saying: Many of the winners shared their gratitude for the program, what the funds and shoes meant to them, and the continued support of Reebok throughout the years.
- “I think for any athlete, whether they have the financial stability or not, it’s nice to feel supported by a brand like Reebok even if we aren’t big name athletes. This allows for our coaches or a family member who may be coming with to have some financial support as well, and having a support person or team around you as an athlete makes it that much easier to perform and recover to our best abilities,” said Jenn Ryan, third place finisher in the 40-44 Age Group Division.
- “I’m giving the Nano’s to friends from my gym who came to Madison to cheer me on. It’s so nice to be able to offer these as a sign of my appreciation,” Patricia McGill, third place finisher in the 60-64 Age Group Division.
- “I am very grateful for Reebok’s support of athletes from ALL divisions. It does not go unnoticed, and means a lot to me as an adaptive athlete,” Valerie Cohen, Champion in Adaptive, Lower Extremity Division.
Gym owners shared their excitement as well and were thankful for Reebok’s generosity.
- “I think it’s really cool that Reebok makes a huge effort to support the fans and athletes of Crossfit even after their partnership has ended. It shows a deep caring of the community that extends past just having their brand on a few banners,” said Joel Te, owner of CrossFit 805 in Simi Valley, California.
- “The Reebok Madison Travel Fund really highlighted Reebok’s support of the CF community. They have always been extremely supportive and active in the CF community so giving back to athletes and boxes all around the world really opened doors for smaller boxes/communities to engage more with their members and give back to their community through the support of Reebok,” shared Ryan Woodall and Tayla Nye, Owner and Coach of Injustice CrossFit in Rockingham, Australia.
The bottom line: The common thread running through the program, the intent, and the resulting consensus amongst the winners is community. Reebok stands behind this greater theme, and what it means not only to elite athletes, but athletes of all calibers, from all walks of life.
- Healy: “Community in CrossFit is so much more than just working out in the same place as other people. To me, community is building deep connections with others and knowing right when they need support and how best to give it.”
“When we look at an athlete’s journey to the Games, they have an entire support system to get them there. And travel might be a tiny piece of that journey, but really creates a lot of stress on the athlete and their families. So we wanted to do whatever we could to help with that. That’s what community does.”