Not only does pumping iron build physical strength, but it also helps participants at the Ranch feel good mentally.

That’s why Ranch youth care leaders Nick Hadjistavropoulos and Tyler Harnett of Jewison House started the Battle at the Butte strongman/strongwoman competition.

“When youth compete in the Battle at the Butte strongman/woman competition, they achieve a sense of pride, confidence, and power that helps take their self-esteem to new heights,” Nick said. “The skills and benefits that the youth achieve while competing in this type of event align with the CARE principles that we have embodied at Ranch Ehrlo.”

This is the second year Nick and Tyler have put on the Battle at the Butte, which takes place at our Pilot Butte campus.

It started in 2020 after they realized there was limited external programming during the pandemic. They both love weightlifting during their spare time and wanted to share that passion with the youth.

“Lifting weights and exercising is a great way to make one’s body and mind feel fantastic,” Nick said. “Taking our participants to the gym has helped them do something positive for their bodies, release stress, build confidence, feel powerful, build new skills, and learn to take care of themselves.”

The program aligns with the Ranch’s CARE principles. It builds relationships between participants and staff, activities meet competency levels while also challenging the youth, the environment is supportive, and families are invited to take part.

Nick hopes the event will be expanded beyond Pilot Butte for next year. We would also like to thank Mettle Performance Training Centre, PRO-AV, Freshly Pressed, and Nate Geo Photography, as well as all the volunteers that made this event possible.