From a young age, James was extremely competitive - his first passion being rugby. A desire to play for his native Australia and improve his athleticism and fitness, lead him to CrossFit. He took a crack at the Open in 2012, placing top 50 in the world - the fuse had been lit and Newbury was hungry for more success. He qualified for The Games in 2016 after a second-place finish at Regionals. He has since gone on to qualify for the Games every year with first place finishes in Regional or Sanctional events. Newbury placed fifth at The Games in 2019, his best career finish.