Steve Nash loves kids. That was evident from the moment alive met him at the opening of his state-of-the art, custom designed gym last month in downtown Vancouver.
Although his day was fraught with press junkets, ribbon cutting, and autograph signing, Nash still took time for the kids. During our photo shoot Nash took care to put the young people around him at ease. “We’re all buddies, eh?” he told the star-struck youngsters posing with him, and then proceeded to give high fives all around.
Steve Nash is known to millions as the little guy who could. Despite having been turned down by almost every basketball scout, Nash just wouldn’t give up and, as sports fans know, that perseverance paid off–big time. Voted MVP of the National Basketball Association for two years in a row and one of the highest scorers on record, Steve is best known for his team play: passing to others so they can score, rather than taking all the glory for himself. But the attraction of Steve Nash goes well beyond his prowess on the basketball court.
Dedicated to children, Nash created his own foundation in 2001. Nash prefers to call the kids his foundation helps underserved–not underprivileged: “Health, development, and enjoyment of life aren’t privileges,” he insists. “They are rights!”
The Steve Nash foundation helps promote those rights through education, play, and empowerment. Even at his upscale, custom designed–and greened–gym (see next page) Nash provides classes for kids through his foundation.
Nash claims that he never tries to “do it all [himself]”; rather he encourages businesses and corporations to show social responsibility; and when he provides the cash or the impetus for a project, he deflects the glory. For example, when he bankrolled a project for a sustainable water supply for a village in Paraguay, he described it as “a gift from Vancouver.”
Given all these great aspects of the Nash character, we shouldn’t be surprised that he recently held an autograph session–for kids only; or that before leaving our photo session he told the young people who were watching him adoringly, “Thanks guys; that was fun!?and meant it.
Helping kids have fun while providing them with the means to challenge themselves to greater fitness and overall health is a core principle behind the Steve Nash Sports Club located on Granville Street in the heart of Vancouver.
Nash plans to involve inner city kids through the Steve Nash Foundation. “We’ll be using space, time, and energy to create a synergy between the foundation and the club,” says Nash.
According to Martin Stein, the club’s senior vice-president of sales and operations, “Youth programs will combine yoga, agility, and core strength, as well as boot camps. The club will work to meet kids’ needs as they work through the planning stages and get the kids’ programs up and running.”
Helping to share his enormously successful personal philosophy: “I challenge myself to be inspired by something every day,” is Steve Nash’s guiding principle and motivation for the new Steve Nash Sports Club.
The Steve Nash Sports Club is not just for kids. Located where the Vancouver corporate district meets the high-end retail area, the $5 million dollar, 38,500 sq ft (3,577 sq m) state-of-the-art facility is also for adults who are seeking to “challenge themselves to be inspired by something every day.”
When asked about how the idea for a progressive adult fitness centre came about, Stein said, “Steve saw a need for a high-end facility that would focus on the whole person and become part of a person’s complete healthy lifestyle.”
Added Stein, “I couldn’t be more proud of how the gym turned out for Vancouver and for Steve Nash. It was a real joy working with such an approachable, holistic, humble human being.”
The Steve Nash Sports Club is affordable with membership costs starting at $100 to $135 per month and increasing with various packages, but what makes the club stand out in a competitive market is its sleek, modern architectural design, which incorporates sustainable materials including bamboo floors and lockers; rubber flooring made from recycled tires; non-VOC (volatile organic compounds) paint; and green cleaning products, soaps, and lotions. “From day one, I demanded the sports club be as environmentally friendly as we can make it,” said Nash.
As well as striving to be inclusive, the facility aims to offer clients education and lifestyle fitness with a focus on hard work and perseverance to provide the consistency to reach goals. Offering facilities and training packages to meet a diverse clientele from inner city kids to professional athletes and corporations, the Steve Nash Sports Club hopes to stay true to the philosophy of its founder who believes in teamwork and commitment: “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts, and a healthy life means more than just a healthy body.”
Says Nash, “I don’t endorse a lot of things, but I believe in promoting a healthy lifestyle, which is about more than getting in shape. It’s also about creating a healthy environment for ourselves and our children.”