With every in-school fitness presentation Willie Austin gave in the early 90's, he came face to face with a growing health epidemic. The youth he met faced dwindling school fitness programs. Most did not have the means or safe access to join sports leagues, and too many were developing serious health issues at a young age. Kids with asthma. Kids with diabetes. Kids struggling with obesity.
Seeing a clear need for youth health fitness education and programs, Willie Austin began offering the Youth and Fitness training program at the Gateway Athletic Club in 1994. The intent of the program was to provide youth with essential fitness activities and to connect them with caring personal trainers dedicated to their physical, mental, emotional and personal development.
In 1997, the Austin Foundation birth as a 501(c)(3) charitable organization dedicated to meeting the need for youth fitness programming in the Seattle/King County area. Centered on the signature Youth and Fitness program, the Austin Foundation began offering free fitness and health classes at locations around the city. Through partnerships with local schools, community centers and other youth serving agencies, the foundation has been able to expand its program coverage and reach a broader spectrum of underserved youth.
We at the Austin Foundation have been fortunate enough to be able to continue to increase the programs offered and the number students reached thanks to the generous support of our community. Today the Austin Foundation runs a number of after school fitness programs, evening fitness programs at partnering community centers and in-school fitness programs at numerous schools throughout the Seattle/King County area. The Austin Foundation continued to expand its programs and pursue partnerships to make our community healthier and safer.