Affiliate Owner Spotlight - Adam & Leah Sciascia, CrossFit Mana

Affiliate Owner Spotlight - Adam & Leah Sciascia, CrossFit Mana

What a crew! Photo supplied. 

Adam & Leah Sciascia - Owners, CrossFit MANA

Adam and Leah, photo supplied.

This is Adam and his beautiful wife Leah. These two are the recent owners of CrossFit MANA after being part of its community for over 8 years. 

Adam and Leah have been together for 20 years (impressive!) and have been married for the last 11. For them life has always been centred around the common value of the benefits of health and wellbeing.

Both have had very active and outdoor focused upbringings. Adam a dairy farmer for 13 years and Leah a secondary school Health & Physical Education teacher (a job she continues whilst also running CrossFit Mana with Adam). 

Adam and Leah purchased CrossFit MANA at the start of March 2020, eight years after walking in its doors.

Both love being able to develop and support positive life long habits (physical, social, spiritual, and mental/emotional) for people from all walks of life. 

CrossFit MANA has been affiliated since 2009 and was founded by CrossFit powerhouses and Regional Athletes Aaron and Jenn James. Many athletes that have walked through its doors have gone on to become prominent names in both the New Zealand and international competition scenes and owners of various Affiliates around New Zealand. 

Adam has lead the charge at CrossFit MANA with the support of Aaron and Jenn for a number of years and now it is time for him and Leah to continue the amazing legacy of this affiliate. 

Keep reading below to find out a little more about Adam and Leah and the excitement they have for their new roles as Affiliate Owners. 

What was it that got you into CrossFit as an athlete?

After many years of representative level sports (Athletics, Rugby & Badminton) and being a “gym bunny”, Adam always sought out things to challenge him. In 2012, following training and competing in Coast to Coast with his brother, he found CrossFit on his search for his next adventure.

As someone who thrived in team environments, I was hooked instantly.

I would finish milking as fast as I could so we could drive 40 mins each way to CrossFit MANA twice a week.  Within one year of starting CrossFit, I competed at the 2013 Australian CrossFit Regionals in Wollongong with Team MANA.

This was a valuable experience that ignited my fire to train hard and desire to improve my movement skills. But most importantly, the realisation of the positive social impacts that this fitness method had in creating life long friendships and the sense of belonging to a community. 

Leah took a little more convincing, with a background in representative Netball and Cricket, she liked bodyweight movements and gymnastics but she was adamant she was not interested in lifting weights.

She watched me for six months prior to starting her on-ramp. We still laugh at her reservations but identify this is a common feeling for some females. Leah quickly developed a keen eye for movement standards and quickly and confidently became a regular judge on the Regionals stage. 

Image sourced from personal Facebook page. 

What did the transition from Athlete to Coach look like? 

Coaching was never part of the plan when I first started CrossFit. When Leah and I went on our OE in 2013 we ended up living in Wales. Our first priority was finding the local CrossFit box, in our case this was Reebok CrossFit Velocity

When we contacted the owner, Matt Evans, he was extremely welcoming. Matt understood the kiwi sense of humour as he and wife had lived in New Zealand on their OE. He was a talented rugby player and a trained Health & Physical Education. Matt quickly made us feel welcome and we were mesmerised by his coaching style, knowledge, and passion.

Through Matt's encouragement, we both completed the CrossFit Level 1 Certification and were offered intern coaching positions. We found out a few months later that he was a CrossFit HQ Flow Master, so our time in Wales was instrumental in not only building the foundation of our coaching but also our deep appreciation and understanding of the CrossFit methodology.

Matt drilled the basics into us and we are eternally grateful for the role he played in getting us to where we are today. 

What are you enjoying most about lockdown and the gym being closed?

To be honest, with taking over the business so recently we have struggled with the lockdown! However, eating dinner at a “normal time” ie, before 9pm at night, has been awesome and great opportunity to finish off our house renovations. 

On that, are there any lockdown habits that you'd like to keep post lockdown?

Eating dinner before 9pm!

What are you missing most about the gym being closed?

We miss the CrossFit MANA environment and the crew! That includes our talented and experienced trainers and our members, oh and Bucketball Fridays (a game we play as a warm-up each Friday).   

Image supplied.

Your favourite all out cheat meal

Adam - Liquid carbs with the boys!

Biggest learning since becoming a Business Owner?

Accepting that is ok to ask for help and realising how many of our members want to help.

Three things an athlete can do to get the most out of their training

Be patient! This involves:

  1. Nutrition
  2. Mobility
  3. Rest

How you find managing your work / home life balance? 

Only time will tell….

What you like doing when you're not working or training

I enjoy baking, hunting & fishing!

Case in point, I mean the man cake cook. Sourced from private Facebook page. 

Leah likes to eat my baking and is constantly learning new teaching pedagogies for her students, plus she loves late-night Kmart dates with her friends. 

Photo supplied. 

Adam and Leah - thanks so much for your time. We can't wait to watch you take hold of CrossFit MANA with two hands and stamp it with your own flavour. Your passion for the gym and the people in it is awesome. 



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