Our Team

Staff Photo
Leon Gazet
Head Coach
Leon is one of the head coaches at Black River CrossFit. He has always loved leading an active life. He participated in various team sports throughout his youth and school years. Post school Leon found a particular passion in endurance sports. He has completed a number of multi day races in trail running, mountain biking and road biking, about 20 half marathons, 3 full off road marathons and a number of sprint triathlons. He discovered CrossFit about 3 and half years ago and ever since has become passionate about using it as a tool to improve the strength and conditioning of endurance athletes as well as your average day to day person.
Qualifications:
CrossFit level 1 Certified trainer
CrossFit Endurance Certified trainer
Attended CrossFit Outlaw Olympic lifting seminar in 2012 (Dublin Ireland)
MovNat Level 1 seminar 2012 (Cape Town, South Africa)
Qualified Chartered Accountant (CA) SA

Q&A

What do you love about CrossFit?

I love how it brings people together and develops a community with the common goal of just becoming better, I love how CrossFit exposes weaknesses but creates logical progressions that help people achieve things they never thought were possible, I love the friendly competitive nature of CrossFit, I love how it empowers people to believe in themselves and then watching how that self-belief overflows into that persons everyday life.

What’s the best thing about being a CrossFit coach?

Watching people change for the better, facilitating that change and then watching how those people go on to influence and change the people around them.

How do you apply the fitness that you have developed through CrossFit outside of the gym?

I love being outdoors. My favourite thing is running through the forest with no end goal in mind. I use CrossFit to counteract the negative effects of having to be stationary and work at a desk more often than I would like!

Give us a cool quote that represents who you are:

Be careful what you think…
Your thoughts become your words, your words become your actions.
Your actions become your habits, your habits develop your character.
Your character creates your destiny, your destiny becomes your legacy.

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Andrew Martin
Head Coach
Andrew is one of the owners and head coaches at Black River CrossFit. Andrew is a keen sportsman and outdoor enthusiast. He has played first and second team rugby for the University of Cape Town and currently plays league squash for VOB Squash Club. Andrew is a passionate and avid crossfitter and has been doing CrossFit for approximately 3 years. He has been competing in CrossFit for the past two years and recently placed 19th in Africa.
Qualifications:
CrossFit Level 1 Certified Trainer, LLB (Lawyer).

Q&A

What do you love about CrossFit?

Everything! More specifically: the challenge that everyday brings, the community, the feeling of achievement, accomplishment and pride when you have pushed yourself and most importantly the fun that we have doing CrossFit. I love the fact that everyday I am able to get up and do something that I have not done before, with people I enjoying being around. I love that I am able to move freely to do what I want when I want. I love the fact that people in the community share their thoughts, tips and advices freely and openly.

What’s the best thing about being a CrossFit coach?

Getting someone to believe that they actually can do something, getting them to do it, and then seeing that look in their eyes when they realise that they can.

How do you apply the fitness that you have developed through CrossFit outside of the gym?

My fitness defines who I am, and it allows me to get up in the morning and do pretty much anything I want…run in the mountain, play a game of squash.

Give us a cool quote that represents who you are:

Don’t say you “can’t”, say can and at least try, because going through life without knowing that you at least tried is not living.

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Kirsten Burgess
CrossFit Coach

Q&A

What do you love about CrossFit?

There is nothing I don’t love about CrossFit but what stands out for me would be that I love being a part of the CrossFit community and watching people achieve and do things they never thought possible.

I love how it becomes so much more than just an exercise routine, it becomes part of your lifestyle and gets under your skin and influences the way you eat and live and interact. It reinforces positivity, gives you a sense of accomplishment and challenges you to push yourself harder every day. Each day is a new goal set and a new goal to beat; and that constant drive to be better is exhilarating and addictive.

What’s the best thing about being a CrossFit coach?

That would have to be watching people overcome their doubts and their fears and gradually gain not only strength and fitness but an overall confidence and a more positive outlook on life. Whether it’s a beginner doing their first unassisted pull-up or a serious competitor lifting his/her heaviest weight, watching the achievement on peoples faces, is always rewarding. Its amazing to me how a few burpees, pull-ups and box jumps can have such a profound effect on your day, but somehow when you leave the box after an exhausting workout, you feel ready to take on anything!

How do you apply the fitness that you have developed through CrossFit outside of the gym?

Nothing is more challenging and rewarding than being a mother and since I have been doing CrossFit, the strength, discipline, fitness and endurance I have gained has been invaluable when running around after 2 small children. As exhausting as CrossFit is, at the end of the day I ironically have more energy than ever.

Give us a cool quote that represents who you are:

“Limitations live only in our minds. But if we use our imaginations our possibilities become limitless.”

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Mike Nel
CrossFit Coach

Q&A

What do you love about CrossFit?

I love how CrossFit challenges me on every level – physically, mentally, emotionally. When it beats me down I keep coming back for more, and when I excel it’s amazing to have like-minded people around me to be a part of it. It’s said so often, but the community aspect of CrossFit is ultimately what I love the most. We all suffer and overcome the same obstacles together.

What’s the best thing about being a CrossFit coach?

Watching someone do something they didn’t think was possible and being a small part of that process is one of the most rewarding feelings in the world. Even if my contribution was only 1% of the 100% sometimes I think I feel even more excited than he/she that accomplished the task! It is incredible to watch someone do what they perceive as “impossible” – this is what makes me happiest to be a coach at Black River.

How do you apply the fitness that you have developed through CrossFit outside of the gym?

Coming from a diverse sporting background I love to get outside and “express my fitness”. As much as I love tearing things up in the box and the occasional “Brodown” with the guys, being out on the mountain or a surf in the ocean is so good for me mentally. Considering we live in Cape Town it would be crazy not to use it as our playground!

Give us a cool quote that represents who you are:

“If you aren’t giving your all everyday you’re wasting your gift.”

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Raun Billett
CrossFit Coach

Q&A

What do you love about CrossFit?

I come from a competitive team sports background  and CrossFit has provided me with a platform to experience competitive exercise with great friends, which is something I valued in a team sports context. I love the variety in CrossFit programming because it keeps me consistently engaged in my training. CrossFit workouts are constantly varied, generally outside my comfort zone and I  find that I am often humbled by my inability to complete certain movements.

This combination of factors has resulted into a drive to improve my weaknesses and as a result, I have experienced significant fitness gains. I love the fact that all CrossFit movements can be scaled as it means that I can train with my fellow rugby mates as well as my father at the same time. Finally, I love the community aspect of the sport – I have made great friends through CrossFit and I get to meet new and interesting people on a continuous basis.

What’s the best thing about being a CrossFit coach?

I enjoy the process of breaking down technical movements and teaching the basics to beginners. The first few months at CrossFit for any new member generally produces the highest relative gains and it is great to see the progression and improvement in new athletes. I enjoy the opportunity to meet new people and empower them to meet their own personal fitness goals.

How do you apply the fitness that you have developed through CrossFit outside of the gym?

Apart from a general increase in strength, the focus on new technical skills that require discipline and practice have universal benefits which can be applied across many sporting codes. My improvement in hand-eye coordination for example, has translated into better performance in cricket and squash. The focus of CrossFit is really to create more balanced athletes and by tackling my weaknesses head on (something most of us neglect to do on our own), I find that I my strengths have benefited and I am a better competitor as a result.

Give us a cool quote that represents who you are:

“Hard work is the price we must pay for success. I think you can accomplish anything if you’re willing to pay the price” – Vince Lombardi

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Andrea Loubser
CrossFit Coach

Q&A

What do you love about CrossFit?

The fact that everyone who does CrossFit loves it, training with incredible like-minded people who become your good friends, I love that no workout is ever the same, I love how it pushes you to achieve something you never thought possible, to believe in yourself and set constant goals, I love that it promotes a fit healthy lifestyle for life.

So much is how much I love CrossFit. 

What’s the best thing about being a CrossFit coach?

Being able to assist people to lead a healthy lifestyle and seeing how those changes impact people in everyday life.

How do you apply the fitness that you have developed through CrossFit outside of the gym?

CrossFit makes me feel like I can do anything…if I want to run, play tennis, cycle I know I can.

Give us a cool quote that represents who you are:

“A goal without a plan is just a wish”