Derek Wickham – Owner
Derek grew up in a small town in Alberta playing hockey and football. His football career took him to the University of Calgary where he played football as a defensive back for the Dino’s. While at the University of Calgary he obtained two degrees including a Bachelors of Science Degree in Applied Mathematics in 2005 and a Bachelors of Education Degree in 2007. Moving to Winnipeg in the summer of 2007 he has been teaching Physical Education and has a part time position at the Laureate Academy located in St. Norbert. During the last eight years, Derek has become very involved in the CrossFit methods. He competed at the 2010 CrossFit games as a member of the CrossFit Winnipeg Affiliate Team. He has great knowledge in the CrossFit methods and a solid background in Olympic lifting. He will be the primary coach for Olympic lifting at Prairie CrossFit as well as competing himself at competitions held by the Manitoba Weightlifting Association. He has won various medals in both the 77 and 85 kg weight category.
Derek was first introduced to CrossFit through his brother DJ Wickham (top Canadian CrossFit Games competitor 2009 and 2010). After completing his very first WOD, which was a modified Murph, he was hooked. He completed his CrossFit Level 1 Certification in March 2009 and soon started coaching at CrossFit Winnipeg before opening Prairie CrossFit. His certifications include: CrossFit Level 1, CrossFit Kids, CrossFit Gymnastics, Agatsu Kettlebell Level 1 and Agatsu Barbell Level 1 and NCCP Weightlifting Instruction and Competition – Trained
Mandy Berndsen– Owner
Mandy has been involved in athletics all of her life. She played volleyball, basketball and badminton throughout her schooling years, and has gone to Nationals in ringette and soccer. She also raced mountain bikes when she lived in Calgary, along with spending countless hours on her road bike. Mandy got introduced to CrossFit back in 2009 by a good friend. Her friend raved about this community and great atmosphere of the gym, so she thought she’d give it a go. She’s been hooked ever since. She definitely thinks a CrossFit gym is a little like the show ‘Cheers’… “Where everybody knows your name”. You are accountable to your coaches and fellow athletes and they know when you haven’t been in a while. They care about you and want to see you hit new PR’s and progress at your own rate. It truly is a special community.
Along with doing CrossFit, she follows the Renaissance Periodization way of eating which has brought her huge success in and outside of the gym with energy and quality of life. She is always willing to help someone get on track with their nutrition, so don’t be afraid to chat her up and get some motivation and to jump on board the RP Train!
She has won various medals in the 63kg category in Powerlifting and Weightlifting. Her certifications include: CrossFit Level 1, CrossFit Gymnastics, Varbanov Weightlifting Seminar, NCCP Weightlifting Instruction and Competition – Trained
Jana grew up in Calgary, Alberta and tried out a variety of different sports growing up but oddly enough enjoyed the “conditioning” aspect of all these sports more than the actual sports themselves. After graduating high school she started working at a local gym and became increasingly interested in fitness. This lead her down the path of obtaining her undergraduate and masters degree in kinesiology, which is also how she ended up living in Winnipeg.
Jana was able to work in the fitness industry teaching a wide spectrum of classes as she completed her education, giving her over 8 years experience working in group fitness. CrossFit peaked her interest in 2013, which is when she got certified, but it wasn’t until she moved to Winnipeg and found PCF that she became more seriously involved with CrossFit. She doesn’t like to admit it, but she loves the friendly yet competitive nature of the sport, and she truly enjoys helping people push themselves and achieve the goals that they have. Jana holds a CrossFit Level 2 designation and NCCP Weightlifting Instruction and Competition – Trained
Brad was born and raised in Winnipeg. As a youth he was involved in competitive volleyball, rugby, alpine skiing and sailing and continues to participate and coach a variety of sports. He has always been a huge believer in sports, fitness and healthy lifestyle and it was these passions that were the driving force to pursue a degree in Exercise and Sport Science from the The University of Manitoba.
Following his undergrad he lived in Japan for several years teaching English as a second language.During that time, he managed to stay active with a local mountain bike club and volleyball team while immersing himself in the local language and culture. When he returned to Canada, he completed a Masters of Occupational Therapy and currently works for Community Therapy Services as an Occupational Therapist.
Not satisfied with P90 programs or dropping in at various gyms, Brad was introduced to CrossFit at Prairie in 2012 and has been hooked ever since. The blend of metabolic training, Olympic weightlifting and gymnastics paired with an open and welcoming community and skilled programming was a perfect fit. Brad holds a CrossFit level 1 designation.
Kaitlin was born and raised in Winnipeg. Growing up, she was on pretty much every junior high/high school sports team and also played competitive fastball for 7 years. She also enjoys a variety of outdoor activities such as walking/”running” with her pup, Hudson, and paddle boarding at her lake. During the winter months she enjoys getting out and snowboarding when the opportunity arises.
She was introduced to CrossFit by a friend while living in Vancouver back in 2011. When moving back to Winnipeg the coach/owner of wildlife CrossFit in Burnaby, BC recommended joining PCF because coach Derek had actually worked out at Wildlife and the coach thought he was an awesome Olympic lifter and coach. So she joined PCF in 2011 and couldn’t be happier! She has become an integral part of the community and decided to take the plunge into coaching as she wants to be able to teach others what she has been able to learn over the years. Kaitlin holds a CrossFit level 1 designation.
Steph comes from a notably different background than most of the other coaches at Prairie; athleticism did not come naturally to her, and she may have been the best dandelion-crown-maker on her soccer team when she was a kid. She played recreational soccer until a few years ago and dabbled in ultimate Frisbee, but never found a passion for working out or team sports until CrossFit came into her life back in 2012.
While completing her B.Sc. in Geology she was introduced to CrossFit when looking for a conditioning gym where she didn’t have to go in a do any “thinking” – just listen to the coach and do what she was told to do. CrossFit was a foreign world and she had no idea what it was all about, but joined for a month to try it out, lose some weight, and gain a little muscle; little did she know that the inner strength she found and the friendships made in the community were going to keep her coming back for 5 years (and more!).
Steph knows what it’s like from a first-hand experience to not be able to do the most basic of movements and has come so far from her first days at Prairie CrossFit. She has lost 50+ lbs and gained so much strength and knowledge about health and fitness – she now wants to share it with anyone who is willing to put in the work and learn! Her passion for helping members achieve their goals, both physical and mental, is one of her favourite part about coaching at Prairie. Seeing members surprise themselves with their strength and perseverance is what keeps Steph motivated to keep bettering herself and working towards achieving her own personal goals. Seeing “I can’t” and “I’m not able’s” turn into “I’m working on” and “I’ll soon be able to’s” and eventually into “I did’s” is her favourite part about being a coach! Steph holds a CrossFit level 1 designation.