Kelly Blanch trains at Hybrid Fitness in Grafton. Photo: Adam Hourigan
Kelly Blanch trains at Hybrid Fitness in Grafton. Photo: Adam Hourigan

STANDING STRONG: CrossFit athlete to face best in world

CROSSFIT: Kelly Blanch dominated the local tennis scene in her junior years, and has played across the country and world.

Years later, she admits, the competitive spirit is still there.

Six years after she decided to try CrossFit through Grafton gym Hybrid Fitness, and a small local competition, she is heading to the big time.

Blanch has qualified for the Down Under CrossFit Championships, where the top athletes will progress to the Crossfit Games in Madison, Wisconsin in the US.

“In October we had the Cross Opens. It’s a worldwide competition where one workout gets released worldwide for five weeks,” Ms Blanch said.

“You get a score and end up with a ranking.”

Blanch placed 66th out of about 10,0000 competitors in the open division, and was placed 37th in the world in her age group and was invited to participate in the national championship.

“I was so excited to get an invite,” she said. “I went last year in a team … we placed 11th in Australia out of 40 teams, which was good experience.

“This year I’ll step up on my own. There’s nowhere to hide.”

Ms Blanch said she started six years ago after having her two children and wanting to lose some weight.

“I came across CrossFit and absolutely loved it — there’s so many movements and modalities and it was fun and interesting.

“And then I started to learn the movements and there was a local competition on and you want to compete and I thought, ‘you know what, I miss this competitive thing’.

“I’m such a competitive person, I just missed it, and it’s evolved from there.

Ms Blanch said she had been training five to six times a week, with some days having double sessions, and juggling her work as a PE teacher at Grafton High, her kids and PT work at Hybrid.

It had been hard.

“The best thing is though I love it.”

“I’m doing it out of healthy wellness and the competitive side is just a bonus.”

Ms Blanch said that several world-ranked athletes from Australia and overseas would also be competing at the event, and she said she was looking forward to seeing them compete up close.

“It is going to be a great experience. It’s going to hurt, but it’ll be fun,” she said.

“It’ll be nteresting to see where I fit.”



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