If you’re a follower of CrossFit, you’ll know that athletes from around the globe are currently competing in The Regionals – which is made up of the fittest individuals and teams from The Open.
Much to our excitement, the Meridian Regionals will be streaming live this weekend, where we will get our chance to see some exceptional South African athletes competing, including Jason Smith.
Who is Jason Smith?
Jason Smith, it’s probably a name you recognize from the South African competitive fitness circle. Winner of the coveted Fittest in Cape Town event last year, he’s certainly made a name for himself here in this field. But now, the international stage is calling him back once again.
Jason, who has been the Regionals every year since 2011, is looking to get his foot in the door for a chance to go to the 2017 CrossFit Games – the Mother Ship of CrossFit and functional, measurable fitness.
Born and raised in Gauteng, Jason’s love for fitness comes from his family who, as he says – ‘have always been more outdoor than indoors.’ From soccer and rugby at school to motor-cross, competitive sports runs in his veins.
However, after a few years of training regularly at a conventional gym, he was introduced to CrossFit in 2008 and his entire perception changed. From his regular bodybuilding routine, his focussed shifted to the CrossFit method which is varied, functional movements, performed at high-intensity.
Now, together with his wife and brother, they are the proud owners of CrossFit Kyalami.
Support where you Need it
As an international competitor, Jason says the only thing missing for local athletes is support. Although CrossFit is still very young here, finding brands to sponsor athletes is difficult, which is why we don’t see much SA talent on the international floors – yet.
Having competed alongside several acclaimed athletes from Europe, he says that the opportunities they have in terms of support is phenomenal. Experienced coaches, sports physiotherapists, and funding is a regular offering for a lot of them, which enables them to pursue it as a career.
Jason on the other hand, in addition to being a coach and part owner at CrossFit Kyalami, has another full-time job, running a manufacturing company with his dad and brother. Not to mention being a family man as well – and yet, he still wipes the floors clean at SA competitions, what’s your excuse?
As he travels overseas a lot to compete, going up against full-time athletes gives him an opportunity to learn from them and the experience.
Look Out Regionals
The ability to always get better. There is no limit to what we can do! – Jason Smith
In case you don’t quite understand how fit Jason is, let’s put it like this – Thousands of people enter the Open globally. They complete the same 5 (intense) workouts over 5 weeks for a score. So, for South Africans specifically, you must out-perform thousands of hopefuls and place within the top 10 – of Africa (!!) to get yourself a place at Regionals.
From there, those 10 men, women and teams travel to Spain where they compete against athletes from Europe and Asia. The top 5 athletes from each field go to the Games.
The CrossFit Games Leaderboard ranks athletes globally, by their region and country. Jason’s stats for the Open are as follows:
- 2013 – 2105th in the world. 5th in Africa
- 2014 – 351st in the world. 1st in Africa
- 2015 – 76th in the world. 1st in Africa
- 2016 – 66th in the world. 1st in Africa
As the workouts for Regionals have already been announced, it’s easy to see the tough road that lies ahead to make it to the top 5. Events 1 through 6 provide a massive variety of cardio, gymnastics, and dumbbells for days, playing too many strengths and weaknesses –
‘My strength is my strength. I can handle heavy loads in a workout and that’s thanks to all the years in the gym’
His goal for the 2017 Regionals is to just do better – ‘Having come so close to qualifying for the games in the past, it needs to happen this year’
When asked what the biggest lessons he’s learned from competing in fitness are, he states
Have fun and do it because you want to. Keep it competitive while enjoying what you do
BoxChamp is proud to sponsor Jason Smith to the 2017 Regionals! Watch him and other phenomenal athletes via the CrossFit channel on YouTube. Live streaming on the 2nd – 4th June 2017.
For the first time after 8 Regionals, Jason placed within the top 5, earning himself a much-coveted spot at the 2017 CrossFit Games in Madison Wisconsin, USA. This event will take place from the 3rd to the 6th of August, 2017 and will be streaming on YouTube.
We’re rooting for you Jason, give it horns! #JasonSmith