Queensland is set to play host to some of the Fittest Athletes on Earth next month, as world champion CrossFitters descend on the Queensland Tennis Centre’s Pat Rafter Arena.
For the first time in Australia, some of the biggest names in CrossFit, including the 2019 Fittest Women on Earth, Tia-Clair Toomey, will be on show in Brisbane at the Torian Pro.
CrossFit’s most decorated champion Rich Froning Jr. is set to be one of the main drawcards. He’ll travel from the U.S. on his first visit to the Sunshine State to compete alongside local athlete Royce Dunne, who was previously crowned the strongest male at
the CrossFit Games, deadlifting 256kg.
Brisbane’s Kara Saunders – the former second Fittest Woman on Earth – will also make her post-partum comeback at the threeday competition, after giving birth to her daughter, Scotti.
“This competition is an important steppingstone in my journey back to, hopefully, the big competition floor. This will be the first time I’ll compete for several days in a row since the CrossFit Games in 2018, and I get to do it down the road with my local community,” she said.
“I’ve got to start somewhere and I’m excited to do it with my friends and husband competing alongside me and my baby girl watching.”
Dunne said: “The Torian Pro is the literal highlight of my year … it’s the one time I know I’ll see the most of Australia’s best competitors in one place.”
An impressive calibre of 2019 CrossFit Games athletes will round out the individual competition, including Australian’s Matt McLeod (7th), Maddie Sturt (23rd), Courtney Haley (30th).
The Torian Pro – now in its fifth year – is the self-proclaimed “premier functional fitness festival in Australia.”
CrossFit Torian co-owner Johno Snape said: “It has always been our goal to feature some of the most recognised and accomplished CrossFit athletes on the planet as well as delivering an exhilarating and unique experience for athletes and spectators.”
More than one thousand amateur athletes competed in an online qualifier for their chance to “throwdown” with the Fittest on Earth.
From 8-10 November, 542 athletes will compete at the Queensland Tennis Centre across eight divisions from beginners to elite, teams, pairs and individuals.
“We’ve always been about community and allowing our local CrossFit athletes the chance to throw down on the big stage,” Mr Snape added.
The event outgrew its capacity at its Bowen Hills venue, prompting the move of competition to the Queensland Tennis Centre.
The Pat Rafter Arena can facilitate an extra one thousand spectators, which organisers expect to be a sell-out.
Major sponsors include Reebok and Red Bull, with the event to be live streamed around the world.
The Queensland Government, through Tourism and Events Queensland, and Brisbane City Council, through Brisbane Marketing, is proud to support the 2019 Torian Pro, which features on the It’s Live! in Queensland events calendar.
Tourism Industry Development Minister Kate Jones welcomed the event to Queensland.
“We know that CrossFit fanatics will travel from around the world to watch their heroes in action which is exactly why the Queensland Government supports events. They attract visitors, which creates local tourism jobs,” Ms Jones said.
“I encourage people visiting Brisbane for this event to ensure they allow time to explore the city’s unique tourism experiences and enjoy our Queensland lifestyle, which is beautiful one day, perfect the next.”
Brisbane Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner said the Torian Pro was a great example of a local small business making a big impact.
“I congratulate Brisbane’s CrossFit Torian on delivering this peak event for the international CrossFit community,” Cr Schrinner said.
“As an active and healthy lifestyle city, Brisbane is the perfect backdrop for an event where locals and visitors can participate, watch and learn from some of the fittest people on earth.”
Former Torian Pro champion Brandon Swan said it’s incredible to have so much support for a local event: “The Torian Pro is one of the supreme tests of fitness on the worldwide calendar … one of the only other places you can do events like the ones at the
pro are at the CrossFit Games.”
CrossFit affiliated gyms have been popping up around the world since 2001 — there are now 15,000 facilities across more than 160 countries.
CrossFit describes itself as preparing participants "for the demands of a healthy, functional, independent life and provides a hedge against chronic disease and incapacity".
Athletes are tested with the “unknown and unknowable” from a variety of disciplines including gymnastics, Olympic Weightlifting, strength and cardiovascular training.