Saturday, February 6, 2016

Project Rise Fitness

Rocky Mountain Rugby Profile: Wendy Cook and Project Rise Fitness

Former Black Ice Rugby Club head coach Wendy Cook has moved from the pilot position at Colorado’s only first division women’s rugby club She now focuses her estimable scope and skills on our next generation. Cook is presently Director of Kids Program at Project Rise Fitness, a Crossfit Center in Stapleton.  The gym has a program that serves the community of Stapleton Kids, and is home to at-risk youth as an affiliate of Steve’s Club, a national organization dedicated to providing fitness opportunities for at-risk youth.

Cook is a mentor and administrator for Steve’s Club. She provides fitness classes for youth from a local residential treatment center, a group home, at risk schools, as well as Boys and Girls Club.  These classes occur on sight at Project Rise, Crossfit Broadway or at Lowry Third Way (a remand facility).   The program is meant to familiarize its participants with the worth and wellness to be found in an active, regular, fitness regimen. The individual classes run from 45-60 minutes, and though relatively short in duration the benefits reaped down the road are many and manifest – “Our goals are to give these kids a different outlet, provide mentorship and hopefully scholarships (for the kids) to get their coaching certifications and help them get jobs in the fitness industry,”  says Cook.

Cook’s network includes alliances with Denver-area group homes and an online school for kids in need called HOPE School, which is fortuitously located adjacent to the Project Rise Fitness Center.  And Cook is always working: “I got in conversation with an individual at HOPE and realized we were both working toward the same goal, so we figured a fit and we now hold a class for students from the school.”

In addition to CrossFit sessions, Wendy works with the broader youth community, creating target-specific conditioning regimens, working with individuals and groups – link to Project Rise Fitness. “With the HOPE school kids we spend a lot of time teaching them skills and working on movements that will help them with their soccer skills, then do a short workout at the end.  The Third Way kids we go offsite for, are engaged in mostly body weight exercise to keep them moving; when they are transferred out of the locked down facility to York Street, they go to Project Rise or Crossfit Broadway to do a traditional workout.”

Cook played for Olde Girls for 18 years, was President of ERRFU (Eastern Rockies Rugby Football Union) and Vice President for the West (Territorial Union) for 4 years. She also coached two years for Glendale Raptors women and was in the USA Eagle pool. She is presently working up plans for summer camp, “that will also include sports during the week. We will be introducing rugby to the 5-to-15 year age range.”  Cook’s contact info at Project Rise Fitness: 303.759.3233;

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