It’s Sunday evening… We’ve Just left Celtic 2.0 after another evening of planning and measurement taking! And we are Absolutely buzzing! This truly is going to be an amazing facility with countless opportunities for our athletes and the wider community of Newport to embrace health & fitness, strength & conditioning and of course Crossfit. It will also be, for us, the realisation of a Dream that we have been working towards over the last 5 years! Many of you won’t know this, but we were one of the first 6 Crossfit gyms open in Wales and one of the first 30 in the UK (There are now over 300).
It was 2010 when we had the amazing idea of opening a business in a recession! alongside our already hectic day to day careers. Back then, there was not the opportunity to look for a loan or find a wealthy financier to throw money at the business and buy the latest equipment. We had to follow the “Crossfit business template” of growing organically from a true garage gym, expanding as our community and experience allow. We operated our first “Crossfit classes” from a secondary school gym in Newport. Open three nights a week for two hours at a time with just a few bars, bumper plates, some very old school skipping ropes, the schools climbing ropes, one or two kettle bells and a small group of dedicated members and close friends to kick us off on this amazing journey.
Our legacy was built on an investment of £400 each and a lot of hard graft!! Our members were introduced to pull ups on a gymnastics beam (and you guys complain about some of the rigs you’ve been on!!) and our classes had the privilege of lugging this equipment from the gym to a storage cupboard in the school before and after every session!!
Despite our meagre beginnings our community started to grow, after much deliberation and worry, we took the plunge and moved into our first “Box” this was a tiny 1200 square foot industrial unit. Our small group of members helped us paint, lay flooring, move equipment and clean the place up! We could not have been prouder!
Not long after moving in to the Box we held out first Crossfit competition, again this was in a time where competitions were very few and far between. We hosted the competition in conjunction with one of our then members and Ex Welsh international rugby player Richard Parks, who had embarked upon his amazing 737 challenge! And all funds raised went to this cause. Most of the Crossfit boxes from Wales at the time were present and represented at our little facility! With current Crossfit seminar staff members and European Regional competitors Danny Watson (currently Crossfit 3D) and Andy Edwards (Owner of Dragon Crossfit) coming first and second respectively with Pete Rankin (Owner of The boatshed Crossfit facility and also European regional competitor) in third place! It was also an introduction to Crossfit competitions to the now extremely established Heavy Rep Gear boys, that sold T shirts and a younger, slightly less ripped Mike Catris owner of Kratos nutrition (& another European Regional competitor) that was also representing in his first ever Crossfit competition.
Our athletes have had much success representing in many prestigious Crossfit competitions over the years. But the pinnacle must be, just missing out on team qualification to the European Regionals in Copenhagen by just one place in 2012. This was the start of our love affair with the Open, that has seen us introduce the Celtic Crossfit Affiliate Cup. A free “In house” team competition, that runs alongside the Open each year. This is always a massive buzz for our athletes and community and has encouraged many to enter into crossfit in a competitive capacity.
As time progressed we understood that despite our extensive experience in teaching and coaching, to ensure the successful progression of our athletes we would need more than just a Crossfit Level 1 qualification. So we invested in and continued to build upon this and our Honours Degree’s in Sports science and post graduate teaching qualifications in Physical Education, by undertaking more Career Professional Development in an abundance of areas. These include Crossfit Olympic lifting, BWL Olympic lifting, Crossfit Powerlifting and Westside a Barbell powerlifting methods, Karl Paoli’s Freestyle connection movement and Crossfit Gymnastics, Crossfit Football (power and sport specific), Kelly Starrett (Mobility WOD and supple Leopard) Mobility seminar and Crossfit Kids are just some of the areas we have implemented into our ever expanding and evolving programming and experience.
As we grew as coaches, our community followed suit and we once again needed to expand! So with the help of our athletes, we knocked through the wall of our little Unit to next door and doubled the size of our facility yet again! Since being there much has changed, not just our experience as coaches, our programming, our opening hours, and our equipment all evolving. But we have helped create some fabulous athletes, including some Welsh and British Record holders. As proud as we are of this feat. We are just as proud of the fact that we can categorically confirm that we have made hundreds of people in and around the Newport area fitter and healthier in the process! It’s not just people’s physique and health we have impacted! Since opening we are proud that 4 of our ex members have gained the confidence and experience from us to fuel their own ambition, following in our footsteps to open their own Crossfit or Health and fitness facilities.
We now embark upon our latest expansion, into a huge 6000 square ft facility that will cater for Celtic Crossfit Classes, Celtic Crossfit teens, Celtic Crossfit kids, Specific Olympic lifting (Celtic Barbell) and Celtic Power lifting programmes. Fully equipped with brand new equipment, an in Box nutrition and Apparel Shop and on site sports massage available. Once again we ask for the support of our community, to help us move in and make this facility the premier Crossfit and strength and conditioning facility in the Newport area. Thank you to those that have already given up time to come and visit the new box, there will be another opportunity more opportunities in the near future for anyone else interested in having a tour of YOUR new gym. There will also be a sign up board at the box, for anyone that has a skill or trade or contacts that can help us with the move or anyone willing to get involved? whether that be with some painting or even moving of equipment, any help will be much appreciated!
It has been a monumental struggle at times, but building this amazing community and seeing you flourish as athletes makes it all worthwhile! Many of you have been on this amazing journey since the start especially Members #1 & #2 Bridie and Geeves and we thank you for your continued support and friendship, It will be so rewarding to see you all evolving with us, as we move onto our next phase! Celtic Crossfit 2.0
Interested in joining us ? Email Celticcrossfit@hotmail.co.uk