Anne Lang has been manager of Fitness on the Park since 1997. Prior to 1997 the organization was named Institute for Fitness Research and Training and was lead by Tony Sedgwick as a research centre for exercise and fitness. Anne worked as office and training manager, and as a class Instructor, for 25 years, prior to taking over the business of helping to keep mature South Australians fit and healthy. In 1997 the building on Mackinnon Parade was remodelled to incorporate a full gym with a team of dedicated trainers and health professionals. Anne continues to train exercise groups, both indoors and outdoors, and very much encourages the social side of Fitness on the Park. This has led to the Countryside Walks, which commenced in 2000, becoming an integral part of the organization and has progressed to include walking holidays each year, within Australia and overseas.
Catherine Doyle has been working at Fitness on the Park since 1996. Catherine works in conjunction with resident GP, Dr Patricia Bishop, running the 10 week Healthy Weight Loss course, where she sees clients for weekly consultations to review their diet and exercise.
Catherine's other roles include the health and fitness screening for potential new members and conducting fitness assessments. She is a class instructor for groups of men and women over 50 at North Adelaide and Brighton, and also produces a quarterly newsletter for members with the latest health and fitness information.
She says, "It is so rewarding working with the motivated and friendly members at Fitness on the Park. It is great to see our over 50's (and even our over 80's) enjoying the many benefits of exercise, both physical and social, and how maintaining physical strength and endurance adds greatly to quality of life. I have particularly enjoyed the many years of working with Healthy Weight Loss clients and watching them, not only lose weight, but greatly improve their fitness, eating habits and self esteem."
Perry is one of Fitness on the Park's most popular Instructors. His dry and at times wicked sense of humour means his classes are always fun. Raucous laughter is often heard coming from the gym during Perry's morning circuits. Comments from his class members are that Perry is an "excellent Instructor - although he makes us work hard he manages to make the exercise classes a lot of fun, while at the same time ensuring we perform the exercises correctly."Perry joined Fitness on the Park in 1989. He was a distance runner for many years having competed in 3 marathons and several triathlons. He no longer competes but maintains his fitness with running, cycling and weight training 3-4 times a week.
Gaynor has been an Instructor at Fitness on the Park since the beginning of 2002, working in the gym with individual programming, taking circuits and weights classes. Her qualifications include Certificate IV, Personal Trainer, Level 1 and 2 fitball and advanced programming. Gaynor likes to offer variety in her classes and is very particular on checking for correct technique. Gaynor hasn't always been fit and active, not exercising at all between the ages of 20-35. She started attending a gym but it wasn't until she had a Personal Trainer that she became interested in fitness and was inspired to become a trainer herself. Married with 3 children, Gaynor's interests include kick boxing and working out in the gym. Gaynor is a wonderful example of how fitness can change your life.
Trevor has been instructing his 7am, Tuesday and Friday classes since 1975 when we were the Institute for Fitness, Research and Training. There are still 2 of the original group attending and many who have been attending for up to 30+ years - such an amazing achievement!
After so many years and so many friendships formed Trevor says it's the camaraderie and the fun they have during the class that has kept this group together. The regular social occasions such as breakfasts, lunches and wine tastings have also been great fun and add another dimension to the group. Trevor has observed many changes over the last 40 or so years. When Trevor included a fitness course as part of his Advanced Diploma of Teaching (PE) the fitness industry didn't really exist, making these classes unique. Back then the classes consisted of 30 minutes of callisthenics and 30 minutes of run-walk, progressing to 30 minutes of continuous running. Trevor notes, "the emphasis these days has shifted, with more importance of building core strength and we acknowledge the benefits of weight training for the older population." Trevor has an impressive sporting history having represented the state in hockey in the under 12's, 16's and 21's and as a senior for 11 years. He also represented Australia in 1974 and has won numerous awards along the way. In addition he was the state coach for 6 years and club coach for 17 years.
Trevor is now working and evening shift in addition to his morning classes, and is proving to be very popular with gym members. We hope to have Trevor around for many more years.
Davide Simoni has been an instructor at Fitness on the Park since March 2013, just a month after arriving in Australia. He has been involved in the fitness industry for 15 years after completing his studies in Human Movement and High Performance at the University of Milan. In 2010 he decided to extend his areas of interest becoming a qualified Pilates matwork instructor. In Italy Davide worked as a coach and a strength and conditioning coach for some professional soccer clubs.
Fitness on the Park was Davide’s first job in Australia. He says, “It has been a beautiful journey since then. I have met some very nice, funny and inspiring people who make this gym a very enjoyable social club.
“I moved here to Adelaide because, in 2012, my fianc�e Valeria was offered the opportunity to complete her PhD in Neuroscience at Uni SA. The original idea was to stay for one year only, but very soon Valeria was offered a position as a researcher at the “Body in Mind” group, so it looks like we are extending our stay.
“In September 2015 Valeria and I were married in our hometown Biella, a very nice town in the Piemonte Alps region, north-west of Italy. You may have heard of it as it was considered the capital of the high quality woollen industry in Europe. Sadly, it is now more renowned for its “Polenta Concia” (a polenta dish with melted cheese fondue).
“When not busy at the gym, I’m coaching the SA Soccer State League for the Virtus Soccer Club of Port Pirie. Other hobbies are cooking (but I’m still bad with desserts!), learning how to play the guitar and broadcasting at Radio Italia Uno Adelaide (Italian radio). If you are learning Italian then you should follow me every Monday on 1629am, from 2-5pm and ring in to answer my tricky quiz live.
“Furthermore, since I have been in Australia, I’m also trying to understand more of footy, cricket and golf, which I practice on my own with the fellow FOTP member, Tony Hepburn as mentor.”
Alex joined Fitness on the Park as an instructor in 2015. She has proven to be a very popular instructor and her classes have a reputation for being a tough workout.
In 2016 Alex completed her 4th Ironman event in Lake Taupo, New Zealand, in the 55-59 age group. This gruelling event consists of a 3.9km swim, 180km bike ride and a full marathon, 42.4km. Alex completed the event in 15.5 hours with personal best times in the swimming and cycling - what an amazing achievement!
When asked what first motivated her to get into this extreme sport she said, "It started with a promise. I was caring for a close friend with Motor Neurone Disease and she made me promise to do the Tour Down Under bike ride to raise money for the MND Association. This was in 2008 and in 2010 I took part in the Tour Down Under." What makes this achievement even more amazing is that Alex was 50kg overweight when she made her promise to her friend. She says she had been overweight all her life - she admits to being an emotional eater and doing no exercise from the age of about 25, so her friend had certainly issued her with a challenge.
The first step in Alex's proparation for the Tour Down Under was to find a Personal Trainer. Once she started to exercise she started to lose weight and had lost 20kg before the event in 2010. She enjoyed it so much that she continued to train with her Personal Trainer, who was himself an Ironman. He encouraged her to take up running and swimming so she could enter an Ironman competition. This was a great challenge as she couldn't swim - so she had to learn. Late in 2011 Alex ran her first half marathon, so her next challenge was the Ironman. Her trainer said if she wanted to do this she would need to lose more weight. This was where Alex totally changed her diet and found that a low-carb, high-fat diet suite her with the high amount of training she was doing. She continued to lose weight and has now lost a total of 50kg!
We congratulate Alex on her amazing achievements and we hope she will be a part of the Fitness on the Park team for many years to come.
Lauren is completing her final year of Exercise Physiology at Uni SA and now has two gym shifts at Fitness on the Park. She also takes the Cardio/ Strength class on Saturday mornings.
Lauren hopes eventually to specialise in Clinical Paediatrics where she will work with children with special needs such as Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Muscular Dystrophy etc.
On her experience at Fitness on the Park she says, “I love the sense of community that exists at Fitness on the Park. In particular, I love seeing how encouraging class members are of one another, and it is amazing to see how inclusive everyone is to any new group members coming along to give it a go. I like to make my classes fun, and have as much variety as possible from week to week so that everyone gets the benefit, without the boredom. I want people to look forward to coming along to my classes, and to leave feeling like they’ve worked hard, but also had plenty of fun. Exercise is beneficial for everyone, but the added social aspect and friendships that exist at Fitness on the Park make it a one of a kind in my opinion.”
In 2016 Nikki completed a six week placement at Fitness on the Park, as part of her 4th year in ‘Clinical Exercise Physiology’ at UniSA and we are very happy that she is now part of the Fitness on the Park team.
Nikki says that she is interested in chronic disease management, preventative health and healthy ageing. She says, “I love that at Fitness on the Park there are no barriers to becoming more physically active and improving health and fitness. FOTP caters for any age and with the diverse group fitness classes and 1:1 training—there is an option for everybody’s body. I aim to highlight to people how therapeutic exercise can be for physical and mental health, when it’s the right exercise for the right individual. Plus the social atmosphere and relationships that form through exercise are what makes it easier to adhere to an exercise programme or coming to a group class at 7am in winter!
“I am happy to tailor my classes to what your body needs and what your goals are. Whether that’s stretching to improve your mobility to move freely throughout your life, or improving your golf swing. I’m always up for a chat when I’m up in the gym and happy to review your exercise programme to help you reach your goals and help you move to health.”