Dragon Crossfit

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Dragon Crossfit's best practice article

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from Dragon Crossfit is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Blunkett signature Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles


Affiliate Owner AndyEdwards
Our community is what
makes us successful
Andy Edwards discovered CrossFit as a training
methodology in 2009 while he was travelling through
Australia and New Zealand. Having played rugby at a
high level in his native Wales during his early twenties, he has
always had a passion for health and fitness. Recognising that
CrossFit offered a great model for helping high-level athletes
as well as the general population to achieve their health and
fitness goals, he founded Dragon CrossFit on his return to
Cardiff in 2010. Andy, who remains the Affiliate Owner, tells
The Parliamentary Review
CrossFit is defined by its founder Greg Glassman as: “Constantly varied, high
intensity functional movement.” This translates as a combination of weightlifting,
basic gymnastics movements and conditioning performed in different combinations
at relative intensity. The beauty of this methodology is that it can be applied to
anyone. The programme will remain the same, but the volume and load will vary
according to the needs of the individual. It is infinitely scalable and therefore
accessible to the whole population.
CrossFit made perfect sense to me and, having seen the results that could be
achieved, I decided to open my own affiliated gym in 2010 on my return to
Cardiff. It is not a franchise system; rather, each gym owner – who has achieved
the appropriate coaching qualification – can decide to pay a fee to be able to use
the CrossFit branding, which is instantly recognisable to those interested in fitness
across the world.
»Affiliate Owner: AndyEdwards
»Founded in 2010
»Based in Cardiff
»Services: CrossFit training and
»No. of employees: 7
Dragon CrossFit
Highlighting best practice
Community feel
At the heart of Dragon CrossFit’s
success is the development of our
community. Our members know they
are important to us as individuals and
that they are part of a bigger picture
worldwide. Friendships are formed as
people push through the workouts
together and support each other
through the tests – effort is always
respected. A former professional rugby
player can be working out alongside
a grandmother and both will perform
the same programme at a level
they find challenging. Each person
recognises what the other is going
through. Dragon is far removed from
the old model of members coming
in, putting their headphones on and
working their way round a series of
machines with little or no contact with
anyone else.
Being a member of a CrossFit gym also
opens up the world. There are now
approximately 15,000 affiliates across
the globe, and CrossFitters know they
will be able to drop in and be made
welcome when they are on their
travels. I am proud of the fact that
Dragon was recently voted the best
affiliate to visit in the UK – a testament
to our members and staff.
We started out with a core of ten
members but have grown to 300 in
just nine years, our eldest being 81.
Each member has taken part in a series
of sessions with a coach to introduce
them to the fundamentals of the
training and ease them into the full
classes. No one just jumps straight in.
There are different levels of membership,
which allows access to a choice of
over 45 classes per week. If members
want to enhance specific skills – say,
Olympic lifting or gymnastics – there
are classes provided as part of the
programme. As head coach, I oversee
all the programming and ensure
that it is going to meet the needs of
both the experienced athlete and a
beginner. Personal training is also
available. Members can choose their
own level of commitment in order to
achieve their goals and can record their
progress through an internet logging
system, which also allows us to track
attendance and reach out if it drops off.
All this support for our members does
take a great deal of time and resources,
as well as significant investment in
equipment. To remain viable, I have
had to make sure our underlying
business practices are as tight as
they possibly can be, working with
accountants and businessmentors.
Members work at own
Our members
know they are
important to
us as
and that they
are part of a
bigger picture
Developing and evolving
There is a minimum qualification
level for affiliate owners and for
anyone wishing to join our team here
at Dragon. Courses are available in
all areas of CrossFit, from the basic
techniques through to specialisms
such as CrossFit Kids. Our coaches are
actively encouraged to expand their
knowledge, and it is essential that I
spend time on personal development
to ensure I bring the latest knowledge
to our team in what can be a fast-
moving environment. I am a member
of the CrossFit headquarters seminar
team, helping to teach the next group
of coaches around the world and
sharing best practice with my peers,
experience that I use to help my
coaches further refine their craft.
As the population ages, it seems to
me that ensuring that someone stays
as active and healthy for as long as
possible is a priority. There is a direct
correlation between the functional
movements of standing or sitting,
or lifting the shopping, and the
heavier, more intense, versions we
practise in class. Moving effectively is
fundamental to our health and well-
being, long term. I am passionate
about promoting fitness as a way of
healthy living, staving off some of the
problems associated with old age and
making sure that people are as well as
possible, enabling them to better deal
with any health issues which arise.
If the government were to take a
more holistic approach to health and
well-being, with a focus on prevention
through education, there would be a
huge benefit to society. Having older
people able to get up off the floor
would save the ambulance service
huge amounts of money, and getting
up from the floor is a basic functional
movement at the core of the CrossFit
methodology. It has been suggested
that if you see the population as
swimmers, then our coaches are
there to teach people to swim, with
the NHS acting as lifeguards, there
to rescue them when they flounder.
Some recognition of the role of fitness
training in maintaining wellness from
cradle to grave, perhaps in terms of
business rate relief or reduced VAT,
would go a long way to helping small
centres of excellence such as Dragon
CrossFit to stay passionate about the
country’s health.
There is a
between the
movements of
standing or
sitting, or
lifting the
shopping, and
the heavier,
more intense,
versions we
practise in
Each Class is explained
and coached in detail


This article was sponsored by Dragon Crossfit. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it. The publication in which this article originally appeared contained the following foreword from Rt Hon Michael Gove.

Rt Hon Michael Gove's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By Rt Hon Michael Gove

This year's Parliamentary Review comes at a momentous time for parliament, as we collectively determine the destiny of the United Kingdom. 

On October 31, the UK will leave the European Union. The successful implementation of this process is this government's number-one priority.

Three years after a historic referendum vote, we will deliver on the decisive mandate from the British people. Trust in our democracy depends on it. Until that final hour, we will work determinedly and diligently to negotiate a deal, one that abolishes the backstop and upholds the warm and close relationship we share with our friends, allies and neighbours in the EU. But in the event that the EU refuses to meet us at the table, we must be prepared to leave without a deal.

As the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, it is my job to lead on this government's approach, should that scenario happen. Preparing for Brexit is my department's driving mission. But while I am leading this turbocharged effort, the whole of government is committed to this endeavour.

Ministers across Whitehall are working together to ensure that every possibility is considered, every plan is scrutinised and every provision is made. A daily drumbeat of meetings means that we are holding departments accountable, so that preparations are completed on time.

The chancellor has confirmed that all necessary funding will be made available. And we have mobilised thecivil service, assigning 15,000 of our most talented civil servants to manage our exit from the EU.

We will make sure that on November 1, there is as little disruption to national life as possible. Our trade relationships will continue to thrive, thanks to agreements with countries around the world worth £70 billion. Our country will remain secure, thanks to nearly 1,000 new officers posted at our borders. And the 3.2 million EU nationals now living and working among us can remain confident, with absolute certainty, of their right to remain in the UK.

Above all, our goal is to be transparent. Soon, we will launch a public information campaign so that citizens, communities and businesses are ready and reassured about what will happen in the event of “no deal”.

In my first few weeks in this role, I have travelled to ports and tarmacs, borders and bridges, all across the UK –from the seaside of Dover to the rolling green hills of County Armagh. I have heard from business owners and border officials, farmers and hauliers. They are ready to put an end to uncertainty. And they are ready to embrace the opportunities ahead.

Our departure from the EU will be a once in a lifetime chance to chart a new course for the United Kingdom. Preparing for that new course will be a herculean effort. But this country has made astounding efforts before. We can do it again.
Rt Hon Michael Gove
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster