There are over 520 Affiliates in France, with an average growth rate of two Boxes a week. And the recent CrossFit MDL1 in Paris opened doors to doctors within the gyms.
But, the Paris MDL1 didn’t just happen. It took a lot of behind the scenes work.
Daniel Chaffey, the owner of Reebok CrossFit Louvre and a country manager for CrossFit, Inc., was the advocate for the doctor seminar. His country manager role is to translate CrossFit’s content into the local language, handle legal relations in France, take care of social media, etc. Ultimately, he’s to bring together the Affiliate community in the country.
The MDL1 was an opportunity to do just that. Chaffey said the 520 Affiliates in France are the key. “I want France to get as many Affiliates onboard as possible – looking at the right parts of the population, and the MDL1 is part of that,” he explained.
In order to have data supporting the need for the MD L1 in France, Chaffey sent a message to Affiliate owners for the doctors in their Boxes to fill out. About 800 people returned a finished form. So, Chaffey sat down with Greg Glassman and asked him for the MDL1. Glassman said yes.
On April 6-7, 2019, 41 participants gathered for the weekend seminar – out of the 800 doctors who had filled out the form. “What was striking, other than the pertinence of their questions, was the fact they all had plans to use functional movement and nutrition for their patients, irrespective of their field,” said Chaffey. “The Eureka moment for each participant was when they realized they are far from being alone in their belief that the solution lies in something reassembling ‘off the carbs and off the couch.’”
The truth is, wholesale change isn’t the answer, said Chaffey. He’s been in meetings with members of parliament and witnessed the sugar lobby at work; it’s going to take working from the ground up to uproot what’s been growing for years. In essence, it’s going to start with the Affiliate owners for any change to actually happen.
In fact, Chaffey brought up a powerful example of the kind of weight Affiliates can have in the French community. Monday through Friday, 25 Boxes load up equipment and travel to schools to train kids for one hour a day, at no cost to the school. It started because a teacher joined a Box, and the efforts are making CrossFit a household name.
The same idea goes forth with the doctors who attended the MDL1. It’s one more step to making the community aware.“Why do Affiliates need to know this? Because it’s good for the community, it’s good for business, it’s a win-win situation,” said Chaffey.
All in all, it wasn’t easy bringing the MDL1 to Paris, but it was worth it. The impact since has been apparent and will hopefully only continue to multiply. “Since the event, several attendees have doubled down their efforts to get their projects moving forward. Some are looking to collaborate with local Affiliates and one is even considering opening his own Affiliate,” said Chaffey. “It was worth every second and every cent invested to make this happen.”