Crossfit Games beckon for Clifton

Jake Armistead, Holly Hiney, Laura Clifton, Emily Townsend and Tremaine Jensen. (Joe Mastroianni). 241702_02

By Alesha Capone

A group of athletes from a Werribee gym will head overseas for an international crossfit competition later this month.

Crossfit Awaside part-owner and head coach Laura Clifton will contest the individual open division at the CrossFit Games in the United States, while four gym members – Jake Armistead, Holly Hiney, Emily Townsend and Tremaine Jensen – will participate in the team section.

They are planning to fly out for the Wisconsin event on July 14, with the games set to be held from July 27 to August 1.

Clifton qualified for the games after finishing second in the Torian Pro CrossFit Games Oceania semi final in Brisbane earlier this year, where the Awaside team finished third in the teams division.

“It was good to see all our hard work and training had paid off,” she said.

Clifton said she surprised herself by making the cut for the US event, describing the competition as “the epitome of a crossfit career”.

She took up crossfit in 2017 and decided to become a full-time trainer and coach the following year, after playing sports such as hockey and rugby at a representational level during her high schools years in New Zealand.

Clifton said that becoming more involved in crossfit has been a journey of self-discovery, requiring her to give up certain things – such as going out late to socialise and junk food – during the competitive season, which runs from January-February to September every year.

This month marks the first-time that Clifton will head overseas for a crossfit competition.

She qualified for last year’s CrossFit Games but the event was held online due to the pandemic.

“I am looking forward to just putting it out there on the big stage, doing my best and soaking in the atmosphere,” she said.

“It’s also awesome to compete against other fit and strong girls.”

Clifton said she has been training between six to seven hours per day, six days a week, in the lead-up to the Crossfit Games.

The Awaside team members are also putting in the hard yards to prepare for the event, training for long hours most weekdays.

“You 100 per cent reap the rewards when you compete,” Clifton said.

She added that although crossfit could appear daunting to a newcomer, it was a good workout for fitness beginners.

“Everyone is so intimidated by crossfit, but anyone could literally walk through the door of a crossfit gym and do the same workout as everyone else, scaled down for your abilities,” she said.

“Just walk through the door, you will realise how lovely everyone is and you will be set for life.”

Clifton said she would like to thank the Awaside team’s family, friends and the wider crossfit community for their support.

“We wouldn’t be where we are without them,” she said.