LATER this month, Worcester-based AOD Fitness will make their first appearance as a team at the 2021 NOBULL CrossFit Games in Madison, United States.

The team trains at the Blueprint Training gym in Weir Lane, Worcester but will now showcase their talent on the world-wide stage from July 27 - August 1.

The annual event will feature over 600 athletes from around the globe across 27 different divisions competing at the Alliant Energy Center.

There will be 40 men and 40 women competing as individuals and 38 teams competing in the Rx’d divisions as Cross-Fit takes centre stage, with the whole world watching.

The four-person team; Michael Allen, Harry Kean, Helen Nutter and Georgia Radley (coached by Adam Roff) are currently in Dubai for their pre-competition training camp as they prepare for the biggest week of their lives.

So what did it take to get to the Finals? The process started back in February of this year with 'The Open', when more than 250,000 athletes from more than 150 countries began their journeys to the world’s largest participatory sporting event.

Following on from that came the quarter-finals, which included the top 10% of teams across the globe and having completed the first two stages, AOD qualified for the Games proper after finishing in the top five of their semi-final group.

But team member and co-owner of AOD Fitness, Michael Allen, hopes this is just the beginning.

"It's taken so much for us to get there," he said.

"We always wanted to get to the games but until this year, it always seemed a bit of a fantasy.

"But now here we are, we are over the moon. I don't know what you would rather be doing than flying to America, compete in fitness with your friends and win some prize money.

"It's a dream come true, without question."

Cliche or not, Allen appreciates the magnitude of what the team have achieved but does not suggest for one moment the team are merely heading out there to make up the numbers.

"The whole point is to return and keep coming, we are very much hoping this will not be the last time," Allen added.

"Qualifying this year was definitely the goal and it will be about enjoying the experience but at the same time, we aren't really the type of team that will go there just to 'have a good time and enjoy the experience', we are really serious about this, and we will be doing everything we possibly can.

"We won't leave anything out there."

The team have a Just Giving page set-up to help fund their trip, any donation is much appreciated by everyone at AOD Fitness.