A thriving Teesside fitness centre is set to expand after holding a successful competition that attracted 70 fitness fanatics from across the North-East.
Run by directors Joanne McCue Bannatyne (pictured above) and ex-Marine Lee Howe, CrossFit Telic in Hartlepool is looking to double the size of its existing unit to 6,500 square feet.
The existing 3,500 sq ft unit on the town’s Park View Industrial Estate now boasts more than 200 members less than two years after opening.
The expansion plans by JoLee Limited, which are subject to planning permission being granted, would create three new full and part-time roles to a unit already employing five staff.
Joanne and Lee hosted fitness fanatics from their CrossFit ‘boxes’ in Ingleby Barwick, Darlington, Durham and Team Valley for the JoLee Inter-box Throwdown at CrossFit Telic on Prospect Way.
Watched by more than 100 spectators, the Throwdown saw competitors from neighbouring CrossFit boxes take on a series of challenges including running a mile carrying a 20-kilo plate, weightlifting, one-leg squats, kettle bell swings and box jumps.
Joanne, who was previously director of a health club chain Bannatyne’s with former husband Duncan, said: “Lee and I now have 1,000 members – and growing – across five boxes in Teesside, Hartlepool, Darlington, Durham and Team Valley.
“The Throwdown to find our most well-rounded athletes was a great way to celebrate our success and encourage the spirit of healthy competition among our members.
“Because it combines cardio, gymnastics and Olympic weightlifting, CrossFit is about improving your fitness across the board, not just in one area. Stars like Rory McIlroy and Andy Murray are now doing CrossFit to make them more powerful all-round athletes.
“It’s all about programming and high intensity. We’re growing quickly because those who are committed to it become incredibly fit, way beyond anything achievable in a health club gym.
“Our five boxes are booming and the Hartlepool community is growing so rapidly that we’re now planning to expand into a neighbouring unit.
“It’s good news that we’ll be creating jobs by creating extra space for up to 300 members. We’ll also be investing in what are already the best-equipped CrossFit boxes in the country.
“CrossFit is really catching and we’re leaving traditional health clubs and their prehistoric workouts behind. They’ve had their day. This is the future.”
The Interbox Throwdown competition, which was sponsored by Teesside companies RAWnola and Blackwell Butchers, saw Spennymoor Town FC captain Chris Mason, head coach of CrossFit Jacana in Durham, win the male category ahead of Josh Brown and Yusuf Warsama, both of CrossFit Teesside.
Topping the scoring in the female category was Canadian Mia Maxwell, a junior doctor at North Tees University Hospital, narrowly ahead of her 18-year-old CrossFit Teesside teammate Evie Hollis, last year’s champion, who is a functional fitness coach at JoLee’s sister company WattCycle. Nicola Hawes of Durham’s Crossfit Jacana finished third.
In the masters category for those aged 45 or over, there was a double success for the host CrossFit box, as Hartlepool’s Tony Dixon, an ex-marine, led the way in the men’s category ahead of Durham’s John Watson, while Hartlepool’s Lisa Peart beat Durham’s Sam Watson to the women’s crown.