The First Australian Affiliate Celebrates 14th Birthday
It all started with a print out of the CrossFit.com main page in 2006. It was handed to Fiona Muxlow and quite simply, that’s how Australia’s oldest affiliate, CrossFit North Queensland was born. 14 years later, Fiona’s celebrating the box’s birthday, albeit from a distance due to coronavirus restrictions in the small town of Townsville, Australia.
Where it all began: CrossFit North Queensland only just scraped by 8 days in to claim the title of the oldest affiliate in Australia. For those playing at home, CF North Queensland opened May 3, 2006; CrossFit Sydney affiliated on May 11 that same year.
- Founder Fiona Muxlow was introduced to the CrossFit methodology as part of her training in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu: “One of the guys said “You like weird sh*t Check this out!” and gave me a print out of the Crossfit.com main page that he had come across … At first it was just me doing it in a traditional gym, doing runs on the treadmill etc,” she told the Morning Chalk Up.
- While Fiona used CrossFit to train for her blackbelt in karate, she soon realized she wanted to invest fulltime. She booked a two and a half week trip to the US to complete her Level 1, then traveled around to affiliates as market research.
- “When I returned to Australia I opened Australia’s first affiliate. We didn’t have a box, we would work out in car parks and local parks a few times a week,” she said.
- “Fast forward to the start of this year and we run classes 3 times a day and have our own box. Our focus is small group classes, a maximum of 12 per session with the focus on CrossFit for longevity rather than CrossFit the sport,” Fiona added.
What’s changed in the past decade: “When I first started, no one had any idea…It wasn’t like today when everyone has heard about “Functional Training” getting equipment was a struggle, finding insurance was almost impossible,” Fiona recalls.
- One of the first workouts programmed for members was “Helen.” You can take a look at what training looked like in the earlier days on the CF North Queensland original blog.
- Fiona describes CrossFit in Australia now as “pretty mainstream” and she’s convinced her gym will still be around in another 14 years, helping people achieve a healthier lifestyle thanks to the CrossFit methodology.
Celebrating the milestone during these uncertain times: No one’s stoked about celebrating their birthday during a global pandemic and it’s no different for members of CF North Queensland.
They’ve been closed since it was mandated by the Australian government on March 23. But they’re certainly not down and out; members loaned-out equipment and gather for regular classes via Zoom. They also held a special WOD last weekend, to celebrate their 14th anniversary.
And the best birthday gift might be just around the corner: “It looks like boot camps may be able to reopen in the next few weeks so we will be heading back to the park, just like we did back in the “old days” till we can do inside classes once again,” Fiona said.