MARIN CO., Calif. (KRON) — Two men born and raised in southern Marin County are working to connect the community through fitness.

“We give the youth of all of Marin access to each other,” said Paul Austin, CEO and founder of Play Marin. Two sides of the highway, one Marin County. That is how Paul Austin views the community he was born and raised in.

His non-profit, Play Marin, has been offering youth sports and activities to local kids since 2012. The non-profit grew from just one basketball team with nine kids to serving about 400 kids annually.

“That’s through summer camps, basketball, girls’ volleyball, track and field and we do outdoor activities too,” added Austin. It is those indoor activities that Austin is hoping to upgrade for the kids in the near future.

Currently, Play Marin functions out of the Marin City recreation center. “I love it to death, but the building’s been there for over 70 years we haven’t had a new recreation facility,” said Austin.

It is a stark contrast to a new wellness gym that sits just across the highway. “We’re an amazing fitness wellness and social club,” said Warren Gendel, Club Evexia owner.

Club Evexia opened in February of this year. Gendel said the goal of the state-of-the-art facility is to promote wellness from the inside-out and giving back is a part of that.

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“There’s no reason why we as a community in southern Marin can’t help Marin City. They’re literally half a mile from here,” said Gendel. The partnership between Paul and Play Marin is in its early stages, but together the two are hoping to create something special.

“We want a facility. I personally would love to have a facility with three courts in it somewhere in Marin city specifically. It’s going to take a lot of funding to do that,” said Austin.

“I have an idea of working with the members. Take a portion of each membership on Evexia’s dollar and give it towards Play Marin so we can establish a constant cash flow,” said Gendel.

Partnering up, to ensure everyone in Marin has the chance to play well. “I’m always trying to create more change in the Marin city community so it can be on par with the rest of the communities in Marin County,” said Austin.

It takes more than one partnership to reach Play Marin’s goals.

Play Marin’s Walk-A-Thon event

On Saturday October 22, the organization is hosting a Walk-A-Thon to promote activity, diversity and inclusion. It’s free to participate, but sponsors and partnerships are welcome.