By Allie Mahoney
Coming out to Berlin with the intention to study and intern with a start-up company was the main thing on my mind. The last thing I would have imagined would be getting the opportunity to work alongside Ukrainian refugee children. During the middle of September I was presented with the opportunity to collaborate with a fellow CrossFit coach at the local CrossFit gym I had joined, to volunteer my time to coaching these children.
These children spoke no German or English, there was a large language barrier while instructing them. This was a task I had to navigate while working with my colleague, Cristiano Starling. This is an informal organization where I volunteered my time to establish a fitness program for these refugee children.
This program spends once a week with the children and gives them a safe space to have fun and engage in various CrossFit exercises while under the instruction of a coach. These children were in an unfamiliar country and came from rough conditions in Ukraine, so being able to work with the refugees and provide them with a space to have fun and smile really taught me a lot about myself during my time in Berlin. We are taking part in this project essentially for the kids, it is all about providing a safe place for the kids to have fun and do the one thing that matters most: be a kid.