The RIP Training Cessnock Story


Our coaches

Tom Johnson

Owner & Head coach
In early 2012 Tom left year 11 at school to study his cert 3&4 in fitness and follow his passion for training and helping others. Through studying for his fitness certificate Tom found CrossFit and was captivated. He soon began travelling 30 minutes each way to the closest local affiliate which was at the time run out of the owners garage. From there Tom began to pursue coaching within the CrossFit community and has since coached all over the hunter valley, Newcastle and in Sydney. Tom finally realised his dream of opening his own affiliate when RIP Training opened in January of 2020. Tom now has a new purpose beyond just coaching as he strives to make RIP Training a place that makes the community of Cessnock better.

Some of Tom’s qualifications include:
CrossFit Level 3 (Certified CrossFit trainer)
Diploma of fitness
CrossFit kids
Australian Defence Fitness leader
CrossFit specialty course; Mobility, Gymnastics, Football, Strongman

Taya Forester

Kids and group class coach
Taya has been physically active for the majority of her life with her main focus being dance, It began at the age of 3 and continued through to her early adult years taking her to a variety locations and events competing at a state level. Taya found CrossFit in 2011 and whilst training CrossFit for the past 11 years she has became a mum of 3 and continued her love of CrossFit with transitioning into coaching in 2021, Taya’s passion is instilling the key foundations, movements and community of CrossFit into peoples everyday life, she currently coaches our group classes and kids classes.

Her qualifications are:
CrossFit Level 1 Trainer
CrossFit kids Trainer
Cert 3 & 4 in Fitness
Nutrition Coach

Aaron O'Driscoll

Group class coach
Aaron has played team sports all his life and began doing CrossFit in 2018. He was hooked straight away, and began coaching in 2021. Aaron thoroughly enjoys building relationships with our members and seeing everyone achieve their goals.

Aaron is a qualified CrossFit Level 2 trainer.

Jon Akkary

Group class coach
Jon has been training for 15 years with the last 5 years being focussed on CrossFit. Jon found his passion in the CrossFit methodology and believes in its power to not only improve physical well being but also mental well being which is directly translatable to our everyday lives. When Jon started coaching his driving force is that each and every class is making a difference in Somebody’s life and their families lives.

Jon currently holds a CrossFit Level 1 trainers certificate, CrossFit Weightlifting trainer certification, Burgener strength Level 1 certification and a coaching and mentoring certificate from UNSW.

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