February 2, 2019 event at CrossFit Concrete Jungle is a 6-hour Weightlifting Clinic led by Vasily Polovnikov, an elite professional athlete of 17 years. He gained the title of International Master of Sport (one of the highest rank as an athlete under the Soviet System) and was a member of the Russian national team from 2001-2015. His accomplishments include being forever immortalized as the current Russian senior national record holder for the 94 kg weight-class, as well as being a past junior world record holder, international and national champion and medalist in all age categories and various weight classes.
The donated proceeds of this event will go 100% towards Health and Wellness project for the South Bronx community. The only purchase that will be made to qualify CrossFit Concrete Jungle to host such elite event is a set of professional Olympic Lifting plates. Donations will be used for the following: purchase of equipment to hold regular fitness classes for the community at public housing, hiring additional coaches to be able to increase weekly classes to 3-4 times a week, hosting community monthly nutrition and life-style coaching seminars at CrossFit Concrete Jungle.
The event and charitay have been organized by Vera Pascal, born and raised in Russia, moved to the US at age 21 on her own to pursue her American Dream. Without speaking English and having $100 in her pocket it was a real challenge so after spending a few nights on the street she managed to eventually get few jobs, 3 years later graduated from Baruch college with honors in the finance degree and then landed a job in Structured Products Sales and Trading in one of the top Investment Banks. After a decade in Wall Street Vera decided to follow her passion and leave Wall Street in 2017 and open Strength & Conditioning gym. Bronx gym opened in 2017 with it being built by her and her father. It is a place where many from South Bronx and Harlem enjoy to workout and some claim it has changed their lives. Vera is an entrepreneur at heart, just like her father, so she is doing what she loves. Growing in a still developing area in the Bronx and giving back to the community is the top goal for years ahead.
Clarisa Alayeto a Bronx Native and resident of the Mott Haven community decided that she was going to help change that statistic of Bronx being the unhealthiest NYS county starting with herself and her neighborhood. After her diagnoses of diabetes in 2016 she took it upon herself to change her eating habits and exercise more. She lost 90lbs and is no longer diabetic. She trained through the ShapeUp NYC program to become a fitness instructor in the NYCHA development where she grew up. NYCHA residents are significantly impacted by the lack of health and wellness options and knowledge, but many also live below poverty level and cannot afford gym memberships.
Clarisa runs cardio sculpting class free for the community. Its been almost a year and members are seeing results. The challenge with having free classes is that they need equipment and more staff. They recently acquired mats but are now looking to add dumbbells, step up boards and other equipment.
Clarisa recently received the ABC7 Hidden Heroes Award along with other proclamations from elected officials for her dedication and commitment to community.