Meet the Team

Gary Harding (Coach & Owner)

Qualifications:
CrossFit Level 1 Trainer

Gary had a very strong sporting background as a youth, in both Football as part of Crystal Palace’s acadamy and in Judo. Though this did not lead him to where he was destined and Gary ended up battling a drug addiction.

After overcoming his addiction, Gary found himself back in the right frame of mind, in fact a stronger more determined frame of mind that could now do anything. This lead him to completing marathons across Nambia, Ironmans and eventually into CrossFit when he joined CFT with his wife Jacqui in 2013. Since then they have both been avid members with Gary progressing to become a coach after passing his CrossFit Level 1 and also going on to compete in many CrossFit competitions.

Alex Clarke (Programming & Owner)

Qualifications:
   CrossFit Level 1 Trainer
   Dip. Adv. Personal Training
   British Weight Lifting Level 1
   CrossFit Gymnastics Certified
   Kettle Bell Instructor
   Nutritional Advisor

I am a self confessed CrossFit addict who enjoys taking on challenges of all kinds. For 3 years running I competed at the CrossFit Games European Regionals and in 2012 I was the highest placing UK based athlete  placing 11th in Europe. I have also had other successes with top 10 placings in Central Europe Throwdown, the European Inferno (pairs comp with Dellus West), Dirty Dozen Races Sept 2014 race + 2013 Back yard Jam and  as part of a team in the 2013 UK’s Toughest Gym, with 2 of these being podium finishes.

Not only have I had successes in my own competitions, many of my members/athletes have also had great success. I trained a 15 year old novice to a 6 time U18 world record holder in Power Lifting, programmed for international level CrossFitter’s competing in competitions such as The Athlete games and qualifying to the second stages of the CrossFit Games. I’ve also trained an England’s/Britain’s Strongest Man finalist and South East record holder in powerlifting. On top of this CFT’s weightlifiting team won our League in our first season and many of my CFT athletes have achieve podium place finishes in local competitions and races.

Katie Howitt (Coach & Owner)

Coach Katie Howitt
Qualifications:
Crossfit Level 1
Crossfit Level 2
British Weight Lifting Level 1
Crossfit speciality courses
Crossfit Gymnastics
Crossfit Kids

Katie became a Crossfit Coach in January 2017 following a career change driven by her desire to spend more time with her family, and yes, a little bit of extra time for Crossfit herself!

Katie has always enjoyed sports, from horse riding as a child, through to county level netball and lacrosse. In her adult life she enjoyed general gym fitness and even competed in a few triathlons and long distance runs.  She found Crossfit in 2012 and has loved the constant challenges it brings, from learning new skills, improving cardiovascular fitness levels to training with like minded people.

In the last 3 years she has competed regularly in the UK, winning multiple masters titles. In 2017 and 2018 she finished within the top 200 women in the 40-44 age category, her best finish in 2017 saw her 3rd in the UK and 94th in the world.

Katie loves sharing her passion for fitness and crossfit, she is an advocate for life long fitness and thrives on learning new skills herself as well as breaking them down to help others learn and achieve them. Katie never gives up and doesn’t believe in the Impossible!

Steve Devine (Coach)

Crossfit Coach Level 1

Qualifications:

CrossFit Level 1 Instructor
Crossfit Gymnastics
British Weightlifting Coach L1
Opexfit L1 Nutrition (Opexfit owned by the first Crossfit Games Champion)
Opexfit L1 Program Design
Opexfit L1 Assessment
Opexfit L1 Life Coaching
REPS Level 3 Personal Trainer
Training For Warriors – L1 (Martin Rooney)
Precision Nutrition L1
Urban Krav Maga Instructor

Having spent over 13 years in emergency services I understand what it’s like for diet and exercise not to be at the forefront of anyone’s list of priorities. My optimal diet was occasionally not what’s best, but what’s open?? As for shift work, well anyone who’s had jet lag can understand what that’s like.

Who am I and why should you listen to anything I have to say? Well I’m now in my forties and I’m not going to lie, keeping in shape doesn’t get any easier but from this perspective I know what works and what is going to keep you injury free whilst progressing. This in all honesty is the simple secret to success in the gym.

Currently I’m studying a degree in Psychology which keeps me busy when I’m not training clients and it comes in handy when I’m trying to convince people that they’re capable of much more than they thought.

I also have a young son whom I see alternate weekends and I do all of this work and study stuff so that I get to get to spend some quality time with him stuffing my face with Pizza and Ice-Cream (Paleo Pizza and Protein Shake Ice Cream of course)!

Mike Phillips (Coach)

Qualifications:
   CrossFit Level 1 Trainer

Mike keeps promising some text, but nothing as yet.

Joel St John (Owner, Back of House & Social Media Team)

Joel St John - Social Media Maestro

I started at CFT not long after it opened its doors around 9 years ago. A lot has happened in those 9 years, including meeting my wife at the club and getting married, being best man for 2 of my best friends who also met their partners at the club!

I’ve done all sorts of sports and activities over the years, (normally related to danger in some form). Although I look about 12, I’ve actually been around the block in life. I thrive on learning new skills and experiencing the different things that life has to offer. Starting CrossFit, I soon realised you would struggle to get bored there. With a huge variety of skills to refine, strengths to build and techniques to master, this was my cuppa tea. I am very competitive at heart, mainly with myself. 9 years on, I’m still trying to get my head round Snatch tekkers. This is partly what keeps me coming back.

The other part is the Community warmth. I owe a lot to the Club itself, Alex and the others for all the coaching over the years, plus all the members that make it what it is. All walks of life come through our doors. Some of my favourite things: helping halve a problem by listening to a fellow members’ life stress; how much fun someone had at a recent competition; or how someone finally reached the target of deadlifting 80kg. It’s good to talk. CrossFit Tonbridge is the ripe environment for this interaction. The people within our Club help make up who we are.

It’s the best hour of my day – that 1 hour blowout. And the banter is top class. You can normally find me behind a spreadsheet, lasting a couple seconds on Ninja Warrior  [Seriously, we’ve seen the video 2s!] or poking fun at my good buddy and pal Gary ‘Arding.

Reach out on Instagram or Facebook if you need anything answered. I’m always happy to help =)

Also check out www.thorfitnesseurope.com and Instagram/thorfitnesseurope for some other CrossFit related projects of mine

Paul Christy (Admin and website)

It's all about balance

I’m a keen CrossFitter amongst a mix of other sports and activites I do. I find it really complementary to all sorts of activities and the I love turning up at CrossFit Tonbridge, getting a great weekend without having to workout what I should be doing in the gym. I CrossFit to live, it’s all about the balance for me, and training allows me to eat and drink better! 🙂

I develop the website and keep it in shape (comments and ideas welcome), and handle much of the admin; if you need help signing up, booking inductions, have membership queries get in touch happy to help.

Ashley Clarke

Ashley does all the real work! Behind every successful man is a woman, and Ash is that woman. She does an amazing job of keeping Alex on the straight and narrow and has been instrumental in building the culture of the club over the years.