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Starting and Growing a CrossFit Kids Program by Travis Harkey - CrossFit Journal

In Affiliation, HD Videos, Kids

December 10, 2011

Video Article

Travis Harkey, owner of CrossFit North Atlanta, says creating a kids program was a priority when he opened his gym. He shares his experiences starting CrossFit Kids North Atlanta.

“The whole essence of CrossFit is play, and, I mean, it’s a natural fit,” he says.

According to Harkey, the first hurdle was getting trainers qualified to coach kids because, at the time, the only seminars were held in Ramona, Calif., at CrossFit Brand X, where CrossFit Kids began. Then, he says he had to organize his kids program and start it from scratch.

“It’s an entirely separate program,” he says.

At one point Harkey had 20 kids attending class, but it took hard work to maintain.

“It was a 24-7 effort to coordinate with them to keep on getting them back, and it took us a little while to work out the kinks in our programming.”

Harkey introduces his trainers and describes how they have grown the program over the years. He says the next step is to take the program into schools. Harkey sees an opportunity for CrossFit Kids to benefit youth fitness, especially in schools where P.E. has been canceled and the food served is “terrible.”

“It’s such an important developmental component to kids,” he says.

8min 5sec

HD file size: 357 MB
SD wmv file size: 96.8 MB
SD mov file size: 45.6 MB

Please note: These files are larger than normal Journal videos. For smoother viewing, please download the entire file to your hard drive before watching it (right-click and choose Save Link As...).

Additional reading: Grant Writing for Kids Programs by Lura Poggi, published Nov. 21, 2011.

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6 Comments on “Starting and Growing a CrossFit Kids Program”


wrote …

Great article...really emphasizes the idea of Crossfit Kids being the special ops branch of the brand. My wife and I are hoping to pursue a kids program that caters to home-schoolers and those without public school general fitness programs here in Dayton, OH. Lots to do!!


wrote …

Travis, I am with you brother!
This stuff is SO important and something has to be done to get it in the schools. I am an Elementary P.E teacher and I have had parents approach me asking for ideas on how to get their kids active. I wish I could say, "Sign them up for our after school CrossFit program!" My problem is how do I make that happen? I would love to just do a free program for kids, but the reality is I have a family of my own and do not have the time to do it for free. Let me know of your thoughts if you can!


wrote …

Great stuff, Travis!!
Douglas, I'm in the same boat; teaching full-time, just now starting up my affiliate and wondering how I'm going to start my CFK program. Would love to get it running in the spring once I get my feet wet a bit. My parents at school are already talking about putting them in my CFK's classes.

How do you all go about getting trainers to help out?


replied to comment from Debbie Rosslan

Hi guys..... My name is Mary Cole. been an elementary school pe teacher for 12 years and have neen coaching our cfk program since june. i would suggest possibly finding an elementary pe teacher, gymnastics coach perhaps to help you.... someone with kid experience. class management is huge....being able to control the class without any of them scrambling around is important...."herding cats" comes to mind! haha catch me on facebook and i'll help you as much as possible. fb name: mary dybas cole


replied to comment from Debbie Rosslan

Hi Debbie,
Get in touch with CF Kids HQ at
Jeff and Mikki have teachers on staff who specialise in helping teachers get CF Kids into schools. We're working on getting a trial discussion forum for teachers (and anyone else interested in getting CF Kids started)linked from the CF Kids site in hopes that it takes off.
CF Kids HQ is currently working with over a thousand schools in the US and they want to see that grow.

In the unlikely event that you don't get a response from emailing, get in touch with me at and I'll make sure that someone knows you're knocking on the door.


wrote …

Thanks Craig! E-mail is being sent...NOW!

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