“Howzit” from a fellow CrossFitter (or trying my best to be one) from the southern point of Africa, or rather South Africa for the geography experts.
I was sitting at my Box in Mossel Bay, #boxwiththebestview (in the world!) in the Western Cape when I was asked to write something about the current CrossFit scene in South Africa. So with the help of my Coach, Regardt – Training Tree of Knowledge, Head Coach and owner of CrossFit Mossel Bay, I’ll be telling you more about the thriving and ever growing CrossFit scene in South Africa.
To start off I’d like to get the following out of the way for those that have not visited our beautiful country, we don’t deadlift or squat any wild animals and our running is not inspired by lions or leopards hunting us for food. Even though the thought of running with cheetahs and swinging on the rig with gorillas would be pretty cool, you’d end up either mangled, trampled on or just plain dead.
CrossFit came to life in SA around 2009 with a handful of Boxes selling the cool-aid and spreading the good word of Health and Fitness. REF CrossFit, Ballistix CrossFit, Cape CrossFit, CrossFit Platinum Fitness Technologies and CrossFit BSX paved the way and recently celebrated their 10th year as affiliates.
We started off with a handfull of Boxes and hosted our first CrossFit Games Regionals event in 2011. In 2012, CrossFit gyms spread like wildfire opening in all major cities and neighbouring towns. By the end of 2012 there were approximately 60 Boxes and currently, in 2019, there’s over 150 affiliated Boxes in our region. Take into account our challenging economy and the ever changing exchange rate that make the affiliate fees very expensive for the Box owners, our growth is commendable and says a lot about how passionate we are about CrossFit and the awesome global CrossFit community that we’ve become a part of.
Since fitness and strength training is not a new thing and started way before 2009, South Africa have always had trainers and coaches passionate about making people more awesome. We have many world-class coaches with their own top-notch programming that have developed individual and team competitors alike to Games level athletes.
Unfortunately, because of our late start and smaller pool of competitive athletes (in relation to the US or Europe), South Africa is playing catch-up to the rest of the world – and we’re succeeding! Just look at our local boy, Jason Smith’s performance at the 2017 CrossFit Games.
If you’re still wondering about the current state of CrossFit in SA, just look at the abundance of competitions all over the country. From the older events that draw a huge number of athletes like Last Man Standing, United We Stand, Pretoria Throwdown, Fittest in Cape Town and The Battle, to the newer events such as the Garden Route Games, East Cape Championships and the South Coast Fitness Festival (Note: This year will see the final edition of United We Stand). We even have age-group-specific events like Old Dogs-New Tricks for the masters’ athletes and CrossFit Wings Teen Champs for the young bloods.
Fittest in Cape Town 2019* was one of the few worldwide selected events to become a “CrossFit Sanctional” where we got to see our top local athletes compete against the likes of Lucas Parker, Cole Sager and winner Sean Sweeney in the men’s category, together with Katrin Davidsdottir (winner), Mia Akerlund and Alessandra Pichelli to name just a few of the international athletes – and it was awesome!
“So far, the #FICT event is the coolest I’ve been to outside of the @crossfitgames. Here’s hoping the standard they set continues to inspire the new era of Sanctionals!” – Lucas Parker (@toqueluc)
CrossFit type events are alive and kicking in South Africa.
South Africa has an awesome and passionate community with each Box and its members trying their best to support each other and their athletes. The CrossFit community as a whole is growing and it’s thanks to affiliates and even non-affiliates working and competing together.
You’ll See Us Around
The CrossFit scene in South Africa is alive, healthy and growing stronger – one rep at a time. We have some amazing talent representing us on a global stage, with more and more athletes getting to that level every year.
So, don’t be surprised if you start seeing and hearing (because we have sexy accents) us at more international events.
*CrossFit Fittest in Cape Town has been postponed until further notice for 2020.