Nelson CrossFit athlete Leo Grypma has been training hard for years, competing in competitions while working as a local firefighter and raising small children. Last year he made regionals, a feat that impressed his gym-mate Justin Richards.
“I saw his achievements last year, where he ended up with making regionals — in itself a huge accomplishment — and I asked him if he had any sponsors,” Richards told the Star.
As it turned out, the answer was no.
“I said, ‘We should get behind you.’ There’s a lot of people getting behind athletes in this town with sports like soccer and hockey, but the individual sports aren’t recognized as much.”
So Richards, who is co-owner of RAMM Custom Build, started approaching members of the community, enlisting support from the Hume and Adventures hotels, Save-on Foods, DeVito Shoes, Valhalla Pure and other local businesses. He’s been going around town seeing who else is willing to throw some money in.
Grypma will be competing in Canada West, a pool that includes approximately 3,000 athletes, and aims to make the top 20 to qualify for his super region. Beyond that he would compete as one of 40 athletes, with the top five going to the CrossFit games.
“That’s the ultimate goal,” said Grypma.
“I ended up being 13th in Canada at regionals last year, and in regionals I finished 22nd in the top 40, but this year I’d like to be top 10.”
And his goals feel within reach, especially with the community support.
“It took me by surprise. I don’t feel necessarily like I deserve something like this, but it means a lot. It’s impressive someone will go out there and put their neck on the line to help me follow my dreams.”
Richards is kicking off a two-week push to find new sponsors, and will be receiving all the donations. The best way to contact him is firstname.lastname@example.org.