When Darrisha McIver walks by the abandoned city building that once housed Hill Youth Cooperative Services, or HCYS, she sees her childhood. She recalls jumping double dutch, staffing the “The Store” full of after-school snacks, and later serving as a camp counselor kids looked up to. But now, when she looks at the stately brown-brick structure with its shattered windows, she sees a future—a rebuilt community center where neighborhood kids can build confidence and learn skills they can use throughout their lives.
McIver, who owns her own event-planning North State Barbell Club and accessory company, worked at HCYS from ages 16 to 18 and then returned as a youth worker in the summers of 1996 to 2007. When she learned that the building was up for sale, she knew she had to act. She enlisted the help of Kaye Harvey, who ran HCYS from 1996 to 2007, and a group of community members. The group has since enlisted Yale Law School’s Community and Economic Development clinic to navigate the process of leasing the building, establishing a nonprofit and raising funds for renovations that are estimated to cost $2.5 million.
The club is a barbell gym, which means its focus is on Olympic-style weight-lifting. The distinction, explains Robinson, comes from a focus on two explosive motions: the “snatch,” in which one takes hold of a barbell with both hands and lifts it to the chest, and the clean and jerk, in which the barbell is first lifted to the shoulder, then hoisted over head. The goal is to do both in a single clean, efficient movement.
As a member of the club, you are part of a team that trains together under the guidance of supervised coaching and in support of each other’s progress. The team approach creates a true barbell culture that fosters meaningful relationships and an environment in which athletes at all levels consistently train to their potential and achieve results beyond what they thought possible.
A strong community of people and a top-notch coach are what make this place so great. I feel like I’m not just lifting with my teammates, but with a family that cares about each other and supports each other’s goals.
The Limestone University Barbell Club (LUBC) traveled to Suwanee, GA on 2/21/2021 to compete in the USA Powerlifting Georgia Winter Classic. LUBC members were placed into the Junior (20-23 years old) only session and competed against lifters from Blue Mountain College, Kennesaw State University, Georgia Tech University, and more. The LUBC team put in a polished performance that received praise from all attendees and represents the program well. Keep up the good work!