CrossFit rehabilitates young men

Young men serving community sentences have been given a taste of the CrossFit world. For the first time, the Department of Corrections has allowed outside groups to support the Mauri Toa Rangatahi programme, which is aimed at rehabilitating young men.

CrossFit First-light in Havelock North has opened its doors to help young men get back on track.

Programme Facilitator of Mauri Toa Rangatahi, Aaron Gladstone says, “I was lucky enough to get bought up well and sometimes it’s nice to help out people that weren’t as privileged as I was.”

Steve Gladstone another Programme Facilitator at Mauri Toa Rangatahi says, “They've had a pretty hard road, these three put their hand up and said they really wanted to push forward in the physical training aspect of careers, so this opportunity opened up for them at CrossFit.”

They're serving community sentences as part of the Mauri Toa Rangatahi programme that aims to give under 20s good role models.

“It's about giving them an opportunity to have a go in an industry that they're keen on, these boys are keen on personal training also it's about teaching them different coping strategies for managing their emotions,” says Amy Knowles from Mauri Toa Rangatahi.

Steve says, “It's also learning for the cornerstones of manaaki, tiakitanga, wairuatanga rangatiratanga that we have as our foundations for our programme, so it brings the work that they do.”

Of the nine young men on the course, these three have been coming here for the last five weeks to experience the world of fitness.

“That there was the best one that they've done with all the rowing last time they were in a world of hurt but this time, they did really well, they lifted heavier weights, this time, their technique was better everything they did was better,” says Aaron.

The course began in 2014 and runs for nine - 12 weeks and aims to break the criminal mentality.