Athletic Republic Staff Monroe
Facility Director & Sports Performance Instructor
Knowledge, experience and success are the core components that make Jacobus Smit so valuable to Athletic Republic, Monroe. His formal educational accomplishments include a B.S. in Sports Nutrition from Virginia Tech (Blacksburg, VA) and an M.S. in Exercise Science with an emphasis in biomechanics from ULM (Monroe, LA). With fifteen years of competing experience as an athlete, two years as a Division I Track and Field coach, and working with numerous of professional athletes he knows what it takes to prepare an athlete to play at the highest level.
Jacobus was the throws coach at the University of Louisiana Monroe where he produced the first male Regional Champion in school history (Javelin). He received two male freshmen of the year awards and trained an All-American in 2008. On a junior level Jacobus competed internationally five times for his home country of South Africa as a javelin thrower.
He also had the privilege working with current NFL stars and collegiate players getting them ready for their Pro-Day combines.
Jacobus understands the relationship between athletes, science and performance and is passionate about sharing and fulfilling an athletes’ maximum success.
Sports Performance Instructor
Mara Thompson has been active in sports her entire life. She graduated in Kinesiology with a concentration in Fitness and Sports st University of Louisiana at Monroe (Monroe, LA). Her passions are Tae Kwon Do, kickboxing, high impact interval training, physical education, aerobics, bootcamps and strength training.
She trained 8 years in Tae Kwon Do, where she reached her 2nd degree black belt. She was a former instructor and competed in numerous National and International tournaments. Mara was on the USA World Championship team for 3 consecutive years. In 2000, she received gold and silver medals on the women’s team and 2 gold medals in the individual competition. In 2003, she placed 1st with 2 gold medals on the women’s team and a gold and bronze in the individual competition. Her final year she only competed on the women’s team, where she placed 2nd with 2 silver medals.
Mara taught adult aerobics and anaerobics for 5 years at the University of Louisiana and at local gyms around Monroe, West Monroe, and Bastrop areas. Currently, Mara is involved in physical education for elementary schools, aerobics, and is a key component in our Fitness 4 Life program. She strives for our students to become better athletes and reach their full potential in their athletic ability.