Skip to main content

As well as organizing the Goodfit Battles, a monthly fitness competition in north Toronto, Alex Savva donates equipment and prizes.


The Gift: Creating the Goodfit Battles

The Reason: To develop fitness programs for young people in high-risk neighbourhoods

When Alex Savva was growing up in a tough part of Toronto known as Flemingdon Park, he found refuge in a fitness program at a local community centre.

Story continues below advertisement

"There was a lot of crime, violence and drug use," Mr. Savva, 35, recalled from his office in Toronto. "I found fitness gave me something to focus on."

Mr. Savva eventually took up bodybuilding and now runs Pharmafreak Technologies Inc., a line of nutrition supplements, as well as CircuitFit, a personal training studio.

A few months ago, he partnered with Doorsteps Neighbourhood Services, a non-profit organization in Toronto that offers a variety of programs for young people in at-risk neighbourhoods.

Together they developed the Goodfit Battles, a monthly fitness competition in north Toronto that includes events such as tire flips, boxing, chin-ups and kettlebell swings, as well as live bands, speakers and DJs.

Now in its third month, the free competition has become a popular community event with roughly 100 participants of all ages and a lively audience. As well as organizing the battles, Mr. Savva donates equipment and prizes.

"To see a whole community come out, to see them all come together, it's amazing," said Mr. Savva, who is hosting this month's event on June 8.

"I wish I had something like this when I was growing up."

Story continues below advertisement

Report an error Licensing Options
About the Author
European Correspondent

Paul Waldie has been an award-winning journalist with The Globe and Mail for more than 10 years. He has won three National Newspaper Awards for business coverage and been nominated for a Michener Award for meritorious public service journalism. He has also won a Sports Media Canada award for sports writing and authored a best-selling biography of the McCain family. More


The Globe invites you to share your views. Please stay on topic and be respectful to everyone. For more information on our commenting policies and how our community-based moderation works, please read our Community Guidelines and our Terms and Conditions.

We’ve made some technical updates to our commenting software. If you are experiencing any issues posting comments, simply log out and log back in.

Discussion loading… ✨