Neil Kennedy

Chief Executive

CrossFit Level 1 Trainer

British Gymnastics Level 2 Coach

CrossFit Football Trainer

2016 Skiffie Worlds team record holder & World Champions (Dundrum Coastal Rowing Club)

2017 All Ireland Champion (Men) Coastal Rowing Championships (Dundrum Coastal Rowing Club)

Neil Kennedy has gone through a remarkable body transformation. Losing over 8 stone/110 lbs in the space of four years through hard work & dedication.

Neil initially wanted to “lose weight” for his wedding and while on honeymoon, decided that he could help people lose body fat and become better individuals for it. He became a fitness instructor & made it his mission to help his clients achieve their goals by using the same simple principles & training tactics he has used so successfully.

“Waking up in the morning isn’t merely a necessary evil; it’s a gift, an opportunity. When your head rises off that pillow it’s an opportunity to live. What are you going to do with that opportunity? There’s a proverb I live by “Do today what others won’t, so tomorrow you can do what others can’t” I don’t do CrossFit to simply push my body to the limit; there is a higher purpose… Life is a war and I do CrossFit to prepare my heart and mind for battle. I live with purpose, I fight through negativity. Sometimes I fall, but I will never stay down.

When I open the Ascendance doors each morning, it’s about more than just fitness. It’s about development, testing myself & my clients, pushing the limits, having a vision, finding out what I’m made of, breaking new ground, team work, community, encouragement and never quitting but more importantly, its about helping others.  It’s about being mission ready, Being ready for life. CrossFit has changed who I am; I didn’t think I’d ever be this into fitness. It has changed EVERYTHING about who I am. The way I move, the way I eat, the way I communicate with people. My children are going to grow up healthier and stronger because I have found CrossFit. I didn’t think I would ever get this far as an affiliate owner, for me CrossFit has always been about the connection and community.

Over the past 5 years I have made numerous connections and take great pride in the connection I have with my athletes and the community we make up. I know many people that are putting off starting or have not stayed when things got tough. To be honest I feel sorry for them because they are missing that connection, CrossFit Downpatrick used to be a “gym” but Ascendance is so much more than that. The people that are with me are all connected. I am there for every single member of the community. The workout on that whiteboard is definitely going to get you fitter and stronger but more importantly it connects you to everyone else that is on there. In some bizarre way the Whiteboard is the heart of what we do. I have seen people transformed by their time spent here, when they come here they have the opportunity to be whoever they want to be without being judged, without feeling like their less of an athlete. Everyone is equal here, we may be at different levels but everyone treats each other like they are the same.

When I found CrossFit I fell in love with fitness, all other programs that I’d tried before seemed inadequate in comparison so I moved out of my tiny studio and took possession of an empty warehouse. With the help of my friends transformed it into CrossFit Downpatrick and through the years we have RISEN to become Ascendance. Together we have built something which is more than just a gym and I don’t look at this as work, this is my life and the fact that I get to help so many ordinary people do extraordinary things gives me immense pride, I suppose you could call it ultimate job satisfaction. Every day I am surrounded by friendly motivated people, many of whom are now good friends and we see ourselves as a big fitness family.

I can safely say CrossFit saved my life and I will be doing it for life.

I truly love gymnastics and am proud to be in a position to offer so many wonderful children a platform for the sport. My vision is grand across both CrossFit and Gymnastics and will go Above & Beyond to achieve absolute Ascendance.

Favorite quote – “If you want to fly with eagles you can not hang out with crows”