Ngapera Parata, co-owner of Crossfit Manaia in Masterton. PHOTO/CINDY MCMURTRIE

By Jake Beleski

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The CrossFit exercise regimen has been growing on a global scale in recent years, and now one of New Zealand’s premier events is coming to Masterton.

CrossFit workouts incorporate elements from high-intensity interval training, Olympic weightlifting, plyometrics, powerlifting, gymnastics, calisthenics, strongman, and other exercises.

It is practiced by members of over 13,000 affiliated gyms, roughly half of which are located in the United States.

There are three Masters League invitational events held this Saturday throughout New Zealand, in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.

Masters events are usually for people over the age of 40, but for this event, the age requirement is lowered to 35.

CrossFit Manaia in Masterton has been chosen to host the Wellington regional event, and co-owner Ngapera Parata said it was a “privilege” to be chosen in a region with several potential hosts.

“It’s pretty big for us.

“It’s the first big competition we’ve held, and for Wairarapa it’s the first big competition that’s been here as well.”

She said 40-50 athletes would be competing, having qualified through a four-week online competition.

People would be coming from as far as Whanganui and New Plymouth, she said.

The top two in each category at Saturday’s event will then go on to represent their region and New Zealand on the Gold Coast later this year.

Parata owns the gym with her partner, Allan French, and the pair have been involved in the fitness industry for years.

“Fitness is what we’ve always been into but we both have other jobs as well,” she said.

“Allan is a police officer and I’m a nurse . . . we’re originally from Wellington but have been in Masterton for the past three or four years.”

Parata encouraged people to come down and have a look to find out what CrossFit is all about, and said there would be some “pretty amazing athletes” competing.

“A lot of people look at it on TV and think ‘I can’t do that, it looks scary’.

“But they realise pretty quickly that it’s do-able for everybody.”

The first workouts are scheduled to start at 9.30am, and the day would wrap up at about 3pm, Parata said.