Africa’s Fittest Woman: From Dumbbells To Digital Marketing

3 minutes   |  MARKETING

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Competitive by nature, Celestie Engelbrecht could not be more suited to the life that’s been handed to her.

With a great drive for self-improvement, Celestie tuned into her ambitious nature to not only co-run her own business with her husband, but also to become the Fittest Woman in Africa.

Entering the market

“My love for competing and playing sport started out very early in school, but after matriculating, I decided to study Human Resource Management at the University of Pretoria.”

A job opportunity as Product Manager at Fleet Street Publications led Celestie to make a move to Johannesburg where she joined a gym called The Yard Athletic. Here she met her husband, Scott MacIntosh, and her passion for taking on new challenges was ignited.

Up for the challenge

Celestie began investing more and more in herself, and decided to get more physically involved at the gym by training for her very first fitness show.

“This was totally not my thing, but my husband suggested that I join CrossFit. I was instantly addicted to the sport and knew from the start that this was something I’d be doing for a very long time.”

Celestie was mostly drawn to the sport due to the constant variation of skills on offer. As someone who is driven to meet goals, and always up for a challenge, she found she was growing daily not only physically, but also both emotionally and mentally.

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The fittest woman in Africa

In June 2014, Celestie took home the title of the Fittest Woman in Africa at the CrossFit Regionals stage, offering her the opportunity to compete at The International CrossFit Games in California.

This required Celestie to train three times per day – often spending the entire day in the gym – to prepare to compete against the fittest people on earth.

“Competing against fellow women is just awesome. In the crossfit community, women are known for changing the way women look at themselves. We are strong and we focus more on what our bodies can do rather than what we look like. We are all different shapes and sizes. And we embrace that. We are all confident in ourselves, and I am so proud to be a part of it.”

Below is a timeline listing Celestie’s involvements for the last few years:

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Embracing change

Today, Celestie has joined forces with her husband to collectively own and run The Yard Athletic where Celestie manages everything from training to marketing to social media.

Now that Celestie and her husband are working full time running the business, she has moved her focus to growing and pursuing her dream of opening a second business.

“After 5 long years of pursuing being the Fittest Woman in Africa I am now ready for my next challenge in life. I am high in energy, independent and ready to build on my corporate career. Marketing training brand building in the fitness industry has now given me the opportunity to be an ambassador for bigger brands. I am ready to attack a new challenge and step out of my comfort zone with my passion for digital marketing. Right now we just love that our members have become our family and being able to share our passion with them is priceless.”

 Student success story celestie quote2 mobile Student success story celestie quote2 desktopCelestie has always had a great interest in marketing. In 2017, she decided to increase her knowledge and skills on this subject by taking the UCT Digital Marketing online short course and tackle her dream of starting up her own agency.

“I love how fast digital is growing and I love the challenge to help smaller brands grow their online presence. I wanted to increase my digital media skills, in the hope of starting my own agency one day. I know that I will get the credit for this course once I hit the job market.”

In terms of balancing her two lifestyles, Celestie describes how she’s enjoying shifting her focus from the gym and onto her second passion.

“CrossFit will always be my number one priority, at least for now, but it’s good to finally have this balance. My advice for others is to go for their dreams because in life we are meant to grow, improve and progress. I can never go through a day knowing I’ve settled to be less than what I want to be. Everything I do, I do to be the best. “


Through her commitment to pursuing her dreams, Celestie made sure to gather the skills she needed to become an entrepreneur.

Which skills do you need to open your own business?

 

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