Category Archives: Features Australia/NZ

Six Sporting Events in Port Macquarie

Beach aerial picture taken by Matt Gilligan

This article is compiled by AFT in collaboration with:

 

Located four hours north of Sydney on the beautiful mid-north coast of New South Wales, the Port Macquarie-Hastings region is well-known for its lively sporting culture attributed its natural playground comprising of uninterrupted beaches and natural surroundings. Without a doubt, this coastal area has attracted a number of captivating sporting events all year long bringing both competitors and spectators together. Sporting enthusiasts of all ages and interests can find something to enjoy in the Port Macquarie-Hastings area, from competitive surf events to community fun runs and marathons that provide spectacular views of the coastline. In this article, we highlight five sporting events that serve as a focal point for sportsmanship, athleticism, and friendship in this area. These events provide an opportunity for everyone, whether they are committed athletes or just fans of sports.

1. Port Macquarie Ironman Australia (May 5, 2024)

IRONMAN is an iconic triathlon event that attracts various athletes from around the world. Experience a genuinely unique swim in the serene Hastings River, a breathtaking bike alongside the Pacific Ocean, and an exhilarating run through the heart of Port Macquarie, with spectators cheering you on all the way to the finish line. This is the home of the Oceania TriClub Championship. There are IRONMAN Australia and IRONMAN 70.3. IRONMAN Australia 2023 in Port Macquarie, bringing more than 2,700 athletes to the Port Macquarie-Hastings region. Steve McKenna won an exciting men’s race with time “8:06:16” and Kylie Simpson won the women’s division with time “9:16:45” after overturning a significant swimming deficit. Despite having seen great success in other parts of their native country, both Australians were competing in the event for the first time. In the last four races, McKenna had finished on the podium four times, including one victory in IRONMAN 70.3 Melbourne, while Simpson had taken first place in both IRONMAN Cairns and IRONMAN Western Australia in 2021.

2. Port Macquarie Running Festival (March 2-3, 2024)

Popular running event that offers various distances and type of run. They offer fun run and also marathons. This running festival took participants running around the town and also along the coastline.  There are Rydges Half Marathon, The Athletes Foot 10km Fun Run, Chop ‘n Chill Family 5km Fun Run, Treble Breakwall Buster, The Team Holborow 3km Kids Fun Run and IMF #RunSweatInspire 3km. In 2023 Port Macquarie Running Festival bringing 2500 runners from all over New South Wales. Port Macquarie Running Festival will be held on 2 – 3 March 2024 and will provide variety of run such as Treble Breakwall Buster, Treble Team Relay, 21.1km Half Marathon, 10km Fun Run, 5km Fun Run, IMF #RunSweatInspire 3km Run and 3km Kids Fun Run. Visit Port Macquarie Running Festival to learn more.

3. Port Macquarie Bodyboarding Association (PMBBA) Contests (Nov 25, 2023)

Port Macquarie Bodyboarding Association have been established more than 30 years. The PMBA host major bodyboarding event such as Port Macquarie Team Challenges and David ‘Goose’ Gosby Memorial. Various bodyboarding club from around Australia come to compete and get the tittle ‘best club in the nation’. Every competition takes place at one of the nearby beach breakers that lie between Lighthouse Beach and Port Macquarie’s North Shore. Every club member competes in the age group of their choice, earning points for each heat based on their wave scores. Throughout the competition season, points are tallied, and at the end of the year, an overall place is awarded. At the end of each competition, all finalists will be named, and the overall winners will be revealed during the End of Year Presentation. Visit https://pmba.com.au/ to learn more.

4. Raw Performance Den Novice 1 Powerlifting Competition (Nov 11, 2023)

This competition is intended for people who are new to powerlifting and wish to test their strength in a friendly and enjoyable setting. The three events in this competition, the squat, bench press, and deadlift are intended to provide novice lifters with an opportunity to demonstrate their abilities. This is the ideal chance to push yourself and connect with other lifters in the neighborhood, regardless of experience level. For all lifters, the competition offers a secure and welcoming environment. The knowledgeable judges will be present to make sure that every lift is carried out safely and in compliance with the regulations. Throughout the competition, the lifters never fail to support one another with cheers. On, there will be a Raw Performance Den Novice 1 Powerlifting Competition on 11 November 2023 at 2 Fernhill Road #Unit 10, Port Macquarie, NSW 2444. Visit their website to learn more: RAW NOVICE 1 | Raw Performance Den.

5. AFT International Sports Fitness Festival @ Port Macquarie (Nov 4-5, 2023)

The inaugural AFT International Sports & Fitness Festival (#SpoFiFe) celebrates and empowers culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities including First Nations and Torres Straits Islander peoples and other indigenous communities of the Asia Pacific, persons with disabilities, people who are neurodiverse, women and youth with sports and fitness access and sport inclusion. The goal is to make health and fitness accessible and equitable to all layers of society, leaving no one behind.

The festival culminates in Port Macquarie following a tour in Malaysia and Sydney’s Haymarket (Chinatown) earlier in September. The two-day family-friendly event features:

  • A walkathon with a Virtual Reality twist (3KM/7KM/13KM)
  • Keynote Talks on Sport Inclusion helmed by gold medal swimmer, author and inclusion advocate Matt Levy OAM
  • A talk by Shannon & Sally, mothers of children from the Shinkyokushin Port Macquarie Karate Dojo “Karate Kid on the Spectrum” on how
  • A health and wellness expo
  • Youth in Sports activities
  • Health Talks and Workshops facilitated by specialist pharmacist and health coach, Theresa Loo
  • A secret supper to raise funds for the Port Macquarie Koala Hospital.

Visit www.sportsfitnessfestival.com to RSVP. Entry is free.

6. Beach to Brother Trails (TBC – 2024)

Beach to brother trail running festival have come with 7th edition in Port Macquarie-Hastings region. In the Port Macquarie-Hastings region of New South Wales, Australia, there is a trail running competition known as the Beach to Brother Trails. These events give trail runners and outdoor enthusiasts the chance to take part in a variety of trail running challenges while taking in the breathtaking coastal and bushland beauty of the area. This event offers a variety of distances, including the 42 kilometre individual marathon, the 42 kilometre team relay marathon, the 21 kilometre half marathon, the 10 kilometre and 5 kilometre. Trail running fans have come to love the Beach to Brother Trails race because of its beautiful coastal and bushland courses, its difficult elevation changes, and the satisfaction of climbing North Brother Mountain. It provides a chance to explore the stunning scenery of the Port Macquarie region and establish a connection with nature in addition to providing a physical challenge. Visit their website to learn more: https://www.beachtobrother.com.au/ .

 

Text by Mohammad Hafizuddin Bin Mohammad Rosdi / Edited by Jasmine Low

Like this?

Share it:

Six Sporting Events in the Port Macquarie-Hastings area area is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International license. Quote Source: https://www.australiafitnesstoday.com/?p=14882&preview=true 

Port Macquarie’s top 8 destinations and activities for visitors

A seaside treasure in New South Wales, Australia’s mid-north coast, Port Macquarie is a place where unending chances for adventure and leisure combine with the area’s natural beauty. It’s understandable why Port Macquarie has grown to be a popular travel destination for tourists looking for a combination of outdoor exploration, cultural experiences, and a taste of the laid-back Aussie lifestyle, with its scenic scenery, gorgeous beaches, and an abundance of activities. Port Macquarie provides a wide choice of activities that are sure to captivate visitors, from historical buildings and vibrant local culture to immaculate beaches and colorful wildlife. Together, we will explore the top 8 destinations and activities available in this idyllic coastal town.

Town Beach

1. Town Beach is a family-friendly destination with open grassy areas, picnic facilities, and a kiosk serving delicious food and coffee. It features a modern playground, outdoor gym equipment, and a skate park. The picturesque Town Beach break wall, adorned with colorful graffiti rocks, is a popular site. Board riders favor the beach due to its protection from south winds and multiple bars. When conditions align, the beach can handle large southeast swells, and there’s a popular spot called Flagstaff inside the breakwater, known for breaking over a sandbar during larger south swells.

Photo credit: Port Macquarie-Hastings Council, Town beach aerial by Matt Gilligan

 

Tacking Point Light House

2. Tacking Point Lighthouse is a prime whale-watching spot during migration. A stunning coastal walk begins at Town Green foreshore and ends at Tacking Point Lighthouse, offering exquisite views of Port Macquarie’s beaches, shrubbery, and native wildlife along its 9.1-kilometer length. Lighthouse Beach in the hinterland boasts a beautiful seven-kilometer stretch of sand and is popular among surfers for its protection from summer north-easterly winds. Visitors can enjoy camel safaris, beach fishing, and Four-Wheel Drive adventures. The Surf Life Saving Club on Lighthouse Beach provides surf sports and a kiosk for refreshments.

Photo credit: Port Macquarie-Hastings Council, Lighthouse from the sea by Matt Gilligan 

Port Macquarie Koala Hospital

3. The Koala Hospital, located within the historic Roto House grounds, is the world’s first hospital dedicated solely to koala care and conservation. Visitors can get up close to koalas, learn about their stories and rehabilitation, and benefit from knowledgeable guides who explain the hospital’s work and koala conservation. The hospital also features informative displays about its history and koala preservation efforts. Visitors can support the hospital by purchasing koala-themed souvenirs and contribute to its non-profit work in caring for injured koalas. For those seeking a more hands-on experience, volunteer programs are available. The location offers opportunities for capturing scenic photos of koalas and the coastal surroundings, all within the beautiful Macquarie Nature Reserve.

Photo credit: Port Macquarie Koala Hospital by Remy Brand

Port Macquarie Coastal Walk

4. This scenic coastal walk in Port Macquarie begins at Town Green foreshore and takes you along a beautiful route encompassing Town Beach, Rocky Beach lookout, Nobby’s Beach, Harry’s lookout with views of Shelly Beach, and concluding at Sea Acres. Along the way, you’ll encounter historical sites and breathtaking seaside scenery. During May to November, you might even spot migrating whales and are encouraged to note your sightings. The south end of the walk offers a unique forest-to-sea transition. The walk culminates at Tacking Point lighthouse, but it’s customizable for shorter sections or family-friendly walks. You’ll also find opportunities for barbecues and swimming, including a beachside café at Flynn’s Beach.

Photo credit: Port Macquarie-Hastings Council, Coastal walk by Matt Gilligan 

Sea Acres National Park

5. Sea Acres National Park offers a unique combination of beach and rainforest, where the sound of crashing waves harmonizes with birdsong. This park preserves one of the largest remaining coastal rainforests on the Australian east coast, with the rainforest extending all the way to the beach. The best way to explore this lush environment is by taking a leisurely stroll along the elevated boardwalk, either at your own pace or with a knowledgeable rainforest guide. Additionally, there are opportunities for Aboriginal Discovery activities, allowing you to delve into the Aboriginal history of the area and sample some bush tucker. If you wish to extend your stay in this peaceful rainforest setting, you can relax with a hot beverage or a refreshing drink at the Rainforest Café.

Ricardoes Tomatoes and Strawberry Farm

6. Ricardoes is a must-visit destination for travelers of all ages. The facility features rows of greenhouse structures where you can explore rows of flourishing tomato plants and sweet strawberries, all protected from the elements. “Cafe Red,” an air-conditioned café with a BYO policy and highchairs available, offers budget-friendly farm-fresh breakfasts, brunches, lunches, snacks, tea, coffee, cakes, and delicious Devonshire Teas with warm farmhouse scones, cream, and homemade strawberry jam. Visitors can enjoy complimentary tastings of their award-winning sweet and savory preserves. The on-site shop is stocked with daily harvested farm produce and essential supplies for RVers and campers. Additionally, you have the unique opportunity to pick your own strawberries from shoulder-height frames, making it an ideal stopover or a delightful place to spend a few hours.

Photo credit: Port Macquarie Hastings-Council, Ricardoes Tomatoes and Strawberries by Jodi Wilson 

Flynns Beach

7. It has good protection from westerly and southerly winds and suits learn-to-surfers most of the year. The Surf Club has a kiosk that serves meals. There is plenty of accommodation available within a short walk of Flynns Beach. Things that can do is swim and sunbathe, surfing, picnicking, coastal walk, watersports and wildlife viewing.

Photo credit: Port Macquarie-Hastings Council, Flynns Beach morning surf yoga by Remy Brand 

Move8 Walk-a-Hunt

8. The Move8 Walk-a-Hunt is introduced by the inaugural AFT International Sports Fitness Festival. It begins at Panthers Port Macquarie and takes visitors in-person or in virtual reality along main streets in town where they will arrive at eight checkpoints in a 7-KM route. It’s a fun adventure while discovering Port Macquarie’s town to beach areas. The “Walk-a-Hunt” concept brings together recreational walking and a treasure hunt. Participants will be invited to explore a designated area, following clues or instructions in a riddle via a video to locate specific items, sign boards or businesses, solve the puzzles along the way and complete the challenges. Participants sign up and can complete it at their own pace. For more info, visit www.sportsfitnessfestival.com.

 

Getting to Port Macquarie:

  • A coastal town located in the Mid North Coast region of New South Wales, at the mouth of the Hastings River, approximately 390 km north of Sydney and 530 km south of Brisbane in Australia.
  • Rome2Rio is a website that suggests four ways to get to Port Macquarie from Sydney. Travel by flight, train, bus or car – click here.
  • Transport NSW also provides a comprehensive travel guide – click here.
  • Plan your trip and learn more about Port Macquarie by visiting their official destination website: portmacquarieinfo.com.au.

 

Text compiled by Mohammad Hafizuddin Bin Mohammad Rosdi.


Like this?

Share it:

Port Macquarie’s top 8 destinations and activities for visitors is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International license. Quote Source: https://www.australiafitnesstoday.com/2023/10/25/top-8-port-macquarie/

Dementia is Not Just About Memory Loss

Centre for Healthy Brain Ageing (CHeBA)

Social cognitive health – Credit: Envato Elements

We focus too much on memory loss in relation to dementia and not enough on difficulties with identifying emotions in social situations, according to researchers from UNSW Sydney’s Centre for Healthy Brain Ageing (CHeBA) and the MARCS Institute for Brain, Behaviour and Development at Western Sydney University.

The perspective paper, published in Frontiers of Psychiatryhas highlighted the importance of assessing standard emotional responses to situations in order to improve diagnosis and management of dementia.

Lead author and social health expert Dr Suraj Samtani said that individuals with many types of dementia can identify most emotions such as happiness, sadness, surprise and fear, but have difficulties identifying other basic or primary emotions, including disgust or anger in facial expressions, as well as sarcasm and jokes in conversations.

“The value of assessing social cognition in older adults with dementia is to improve early intervention and treatment,” said Dr Samtani.

“It can also help identify dementia pathways for individuals from type of dementia such as frontotemporal dementia, to development of behavioural symptoms. Early signs of Alzheimer’s disease – the most common form of dementia – involve memory loss, but for other types of dementia such as frontotemporal dementia, difficulties with social cognition are often the earliest signs of change.

Humans are inherently social beings, and having social connection is considered a basic human need. As individuals age, a variety of physical, cognitive and social changes take place, which can influence daily functioning and subsequently overall wellbeing.

Dr Samtani explained that in this context social cognition is “our ability to recognise emotions, social cues, inhibit inappropriate behaviour and act appropriately in social situations.”

Social cognition is a key component of how we function as social beings and includes the ability to understand other people’s mental states, and being able to feel and respond to what other people feel.

“Deficits in any of these social cognitive functions are a core feature of mild cognitive impairment and dementia, and may represent an early decline in cognitive function,” said Dr Samtani.

“These can manifest through behaviours such as difficulties with eye contact, behaving rudely or offensively and a clear failure to detect social cues in conversations.”

Routine social cognition assessments would ensure timely and appropriate interventions to improve social functioning and strengthen social health for individuals with dementia.

Another important factor noted in the paper is the link between social cognitive skills and the maintenance of social relationships.

Dr Joyce Siette from the MARCS Institute and senior author on the paper explained that individuals experiencing difficulty responding to social cues or having trouble reading emotions will likely become isolated and lonely.

“With recent evidence indicating that social isolation is a known modifiable risk factor for dementia, it is time to consider how we can reliably detect social cognitive deficits, as well as identify changes in them over time,” said Dr Siette.

However, identifying these deficits has many challenges, notably that there is no standard or accepted approach to measuring them.

While social reasoning and identifying and remembering faces add great value to the assessment of social cognition, the lack of measuring skills such as eye contact, asking open ended questions, using humour, understanding puns and keeping conversations going marks a flaw in the dementia diagnosis process.

“The majority of social cognition measures have either not been rigorously developed or psychometrically validated with people experiencing cognitive changes, with social behaviour the key component that remains to be assessed properly,” said Dr Samtani.

Internationally acclaimed leaders in the ageing brain and Co-Directors of CHeBA, Professor Henry Brodaty and Professor Perminder Sachdev, said that “more work was needed to develop an effective measurement of social cognition that have functionality in the clinic.”

Text and Photo provided by: University of New South Wales (UNSW).


Like this?

Share it:

Dementia is Not Just About Memory Loss is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International license. Quote Source: https://www.australiafitnesstoday.com/2023/10/25/dementia-is-not-just-about-memory-loss/

SXSW Sydney 2023 concludes today

1000 events over seven days delivering pure energy from creatives! Originating from Austin, Texas in 1987, SXSW has received world accolade as one of the most cutting-edge festivals for any content-maker and consumer of this digital era. So it makes sense that ahead of its March 8-16 SXSW in 2024, and while North America’s creative industry is on standstill from the American actors’ union Screen Actors Guild – American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) strike, the magic fairy dust has picked up and blown over on Gadigal land with the first South by Southwest (SXSW) Sydney.

Here’s a peek at some of what went on. Photos are supplied by the organisers.

Meanwhile, in the next building, the Intel Extreme Masters Sydney 2023 known as IEM Sydney returns this weekend after a four-year hiatus, to a sold-out crowd. Team Australia goes up against Team UK with the most entertaining callers at the ESL Counter Strike (eSports League) match. There was even a ‘snake’ thrown on stage, only to be wrestled away to safety by an Aussie dressed in his smartest ‘budgie smugglers’! Games is one of the major events at SXSW besides the other village zones of Tech and Innovation, Games, Music, Screen and Culture. The festival concludes today.

Watch the live-stream here on Twitch.

Port Macquarie celebrates sports inclusivity with the AFT International Sports Fitness Festival this November 4-5

Family-friendly weekend of sporting fun and fitness activities for all abilities

Port Macquarie, an idyllic coastal city in the Mid North Coast of New South Wales four-hours north of Sydney welcomes the inaugural AFT International Sports Fitness Festival on November 4 and 5 at Panthers Port Macquarie, headlined by the Kyokushin Karate Port Macquarie Dojo’s Karate Kids on the Spectrum, gold medal winning swimmer and sport inclusion advocate Matt Levy OAM (NSW) and specialist pharmacist, health coach and podcaster, Theresa Loo (QLD) and more!

Like & Subscribe to the @AFT-TV YouTube channel for more!

Sport Inclusion

Presented in collaboration with Port Macquarie-Hastings Council, the festival promotes diversity, equity and inclusion in sports and fitness. A focus of this festival is its Sport Inclusion programmes for persons with disabilities and youth who are neurodiverse. Local Port Karate’s “Karate Kids on the Spectrum” programme which is inclusive of children who are neurodiverse will be showcasing a karate demonstration, meanwhile, the Malaysian Federation of the Deaf will have participants join in “walk virtually” along Port Macquarie’s famed coastal walk. Badminton Australia will facilitate a free demonstration, surfing enthusiasts are invited to Town Beach on Sunday morning to give it a go while swimming enthusiasts can hit the pool!

Members from the Malaysian Federation of the Deaf will join the Port Macquarie Walk-a-Hunt virtually (Photo via the Facebook of Richard Lee, at the Move8 Walk-a-Hunt in Bukit Bintang – Kuala Lumpur)
Specialist pharmacist and health coach, Theresa Loo from Queensland is helming the Keynote on Health.

All are invited to join in for the fun and games scheduled over two days:

  • A 7KM Coastal Walk-a-Hunt with a virtual reality inclusive version so others can join in virtually.
  • A Sports Expo & Health Beauty Bazaar
  • Sports Inclusion Talks (live-streamed)
  • Health Talks & Workshops (live-streamed)
  • Youth in Sports Fest
  • Eat for Good Secret Supper

In a virtual launch webinar held on 24 August 2023 at the Sydney Community Hub in Haymarket, Mayor Peta Pinson shared, “We’re known for our beautiful coastline, our wonderful hinterland and the mountains, rivers, creeks, streams, and ocean which exist in every corner of our region. These are the reasons why people choose to come and live here.

“Many of our residents live fit, healthy and active lifestyles – irrespective of age – so the AFT International Sports Fitness Festival will be an important event on our community calendar, and I look forward to it,”.

Town Green promenade at twilight by Matt Gilligan

Festival producer, Jasmine Low said, “Australia is known as a sporting nation with its beautiful outdoors, its choiciest food produce and multicultural mix. Through my own lived experiences, I have found many sporting events were intimidating and not inclusive of vulnerable groups such as the elderly, children with autism or persons with disabilities. As a result, we sought out to partner with partners like Port Macquarie to enhance access to their destination whether you’re an armchair traveller or there in-person,”. Jasmine is also a carer and together with her Malaysian counterpart and fitness coach Nikki Yeo, the best friends are worlds apart and yet have come together remotely to curate a hybrid festival to connect people remotely and in-person just as they have themselves.

“Science has proven that walking even for just 30mins a day can raise your heart rate. We hope to entice those who are already fit, to use their fitness and strength for good. Neighbour, colleague or friend, walk with someone and it will change you and them,” urged Yeo, a founding board member of Exercise is Medicine Society Malaysia.

We invite all people including those from non-English speaking backgrounds to come along with their families and try out sports and fitness activities. Sport can bring everyone together, making us stronger as a cohesive community.

Fit for Good

All activities are free aside from the AFT Health Workshop (A$30 per person) and Secret Supper (A$66 per person).

Companies are invited to take up the Corporate Pledge sponsorship package which aims bring co-workers together to have fun, keep fit and work together as a team to do good plus lunch together, in support of local businesses. The festival’s ‘Fit for Good’ and ‘Eat for Good’ call benefits charity partners like All Together Now, The Koala Hospital, Port Karate Dojo and other local businesses.

In a bid to make the festival environmentally friendly, organisers invite the general public to bring their recyclables to drop into a Return and Earn bin at Panthers Port Macquarie. All proceeds from the recycling will be pooled and distributed to support karate classes for children and support the community’s favourite endangered animal, injured koalas at the Port Macquarie Koala Hospital.

Koala Hospital Port Macquarie

Details:

Event title: AFT International Sports Fitness Festival @ Port Macquarie Date: November 4 & 5, 2023 Time: 7:00am – 4:00pm Venue: Panthers Port Macquarie, 1 Bay Street, Port Macquarie NSW 2444 Cost: Free upon registration at www.sportsfitnessfestival.com/rsvp Email: info@sportsfitnessfestival.com

#iloveportmacquarie #sportsfitnessfestival #sportsequity #diversitybyinclusion


Fact sheet

Port Macquarie-Hastings Council (https://www.pmhc.nsw.gov.au/) oversees the one of the fastest growing urban centres in Australia. The Local Government Area covers 34 communities spread across the coast and hinterland, in urban, suburban and rural environments. With pristine coastal and hinterland environments, world class restaurants and a vibrant community, the Port Macquarie-Hastings region is incredibly diverse, with huge opportunities for growth and development.

All Together Now (www.alltogethernow.org.au) is a Harm Prevention charity acknowledging that racism is a form of abuse, with a mission to “Educate Australians About Racism”.

Port Karate’s Karate Kids on the Spectrum (www.portkarate.com), Kyokushin Karate classes that help children and adults with Autism or ADHD to break down boundaries.

Port Macquarie Koala Hospital (https://koalahospital.org.au/), a licensed wildlife rehabilitation facility, that has been helping rescue and rehabilitate koalas since 1973.The facility is run by Koala Conservation Australia Limited, a not-for-profit organisation that includes approximately 200 volunteers dedicated to rescuing and rehabilitating koalas and conserving and restoring their natural habitats.

A Fitness Today (AFT) was founded in 2015 by two friends, a carer and her fitness coach. It has presence in Australia and Malaysia and produces digital content like videos, podcast interviews and feature articles on a wide range of topics related to sports, fitness and wellness. AFT strongly advocates for sports diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI). Website: www.afitnesstoday.com.

GIG: Go International Group Dotcom Pty Ltd. (www.gointernationalgroup.com) is an independent impact media production group is licensed to produce and represent the AFT International Sports Fitness FestivalAustraliaFitnessToday.comAsiaFitnessToday.com and AFT Podcasts. The group is affiliated to Go International Group Dotcom Sdn Bhd. which was established in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and has been producing youth, sporting, and lifestyle events since 2005. The Move8 Walk-a-Hunt was first initiated in 2018 at the KL Car Free Morning co-organised by the Kuala Lumpur City Hall and Multigreen Events.

Why are we doing this?

A Fitness Today creates impact in communities by making sports and fitness more accessible to:

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities
  • newly arrived migrants and refugees
  • women and girls
  • people with a physical or mental disability.

Thank you.

Subscribe to The Art & Science of Wellness newsletter for more updates!

AFT Interviews: Digital Creator, Shaun Chee

Exploring Japan & Asian diaspora stories, Shaun Chee quit his corporate job in Sydney, Australia and has been travelling across Asia creating some amazing content. Here are some content highlights that we have handpicked, just to show you the variety and depth of Shaun’s storytelling. Evident from his posts, Shaun has been in Japan speaking to us for this interview earlier in the year. We hope that you will explore his YouTube channel, Bordersless as a first step before reading the interview. You will surely be in for a borderless ride!

What is your experience growing up in Australia? Tell us about 3 most distinct memories.

On the surface, I had a typical childhood in Sydney. Played sport, enjoyed video games and spent the summer days sweating it out at home or at the beach! It’s difficult to point out any particular memory but some of the more distinct ones have to do with growing up in a predominantly white suburb as an Asian Australian:

  1. Going to after-school tutoring while my peers played sport or had fun.
  2. My parents sending me to taekwondo classes after I was experiencing schoolyard taunts and bullying at school.
  3. Feeling self-conscious early-on in life about how different I was, whether it be the lunchboxes I brought to school, or the way I looked/spoke.

What do you think influenced your artistic eye?

As a result of these negative experiences, I largely rejected much of my Asian heritage and culture for most of my life. It’s only in the last few years that I have made an effort to reconnect with my roots.

I think much of the content I produce around Asia, belonging and identity is really an extension of my childhood experiences and desire to reconnect with my roots.

Do share your career highlights. What were the lows and the highs?

Likeany young graduate, getting that 1st “real” job is so sweet. Your years of studying and hard work have finally paid off! The path your parents told you to take will lead to happiness and success…right?

After spending a few years in the corporate world and climbing the ladder, I started to feel discontented. Do I really want to be doing the same thing for the next 40 years? If this was considered success by my family and society, I didn’t want it.

What was it that made you pivot in your career? Was it a hobby turned career? Why the change?

It got to a point where I was so exhausted from work, that I spent most weekends trying recover in time for the following work week. Though my work hours got better as I progressed through my career, I had this strong feeling that I was wasting my time and that I could be doing something more impactful.

I know people say that work is just work and that you shouldn’t get too emotionally invested but I just felt that life is much more than punching the clock. And with no real clear plan, I took a career break in 2019 to travel around Asia and study in Chinese in Taiwan on a scholarship, with the aim of reconnecting with my roots and culture. However, COVID hit and I was forced to return to Australia and start from square one.

 

That career break gave me the time to think and re-assess my position. If I wanted to get out of the corporate game, then I needed to build up other skills that could lead to me down a different path. So, I tried everything that was interested in…from podcasting, videography, photography and how to leverage social media.

Luckily, I managed to secure some clients and work on some interesting projects within a year of transitioning out of my old office job, but time will tell if I’ll keep doing this long-term! There’s something to be said about the comfort and security of a corporate monthly wage!


What is the one thing you strive to do in your life? Have you been successful in achieving that?

Trying to be my authentic self has been one the main things I strive to do. It’s very easy to fall into the trap of listening to the opinions of others, whether it be your parents, friends, societal expectations, etc., but there’s a point in life where you need to start listening to yourself and take action to be at a place you want to be.

Especially if you grew up in an environment where you were constantly being compared or made to feel different, it’s very easy to think that you’re not capable and that you should just follow the “safe” path.  And the longer you think and operate a certain way, it becomes harder to break out of these negative thoughts and patterns.

It’s a constant work in progress to overcome those feelings of self-doubt and discover your true values and passions but hopefully I’m improving with each day that passes.


You have a YouTube channel, Bordersless. Tell us a little about this project.

BordersLess started off as a podcast that covered Asians born in the West that had decided to move back to Asia and leverage their unique skills and cross-cultural talents.

“Go back to where you came from” is a term that is often directed at the Asian diaspora communities, so I tried to find the people who did just that. I’ve interviewed several successful entrepreneurs that have found more success in Asia than if they decided to stay put in the West.

BordersLess has slowly transformed to become a platform that not only promotes Asian Diaspora success but also other topics that interest me, whether it be Asian-Australian mental health, entrepreneurship in Asia or even geopolitics.

Is health and fitness important to you? Care to share about your daily routine?

Health and fitness have become more important to me as I get older. There was a time where I could eat & drink anything I wanted without gaining any weight!

When I was working a corporate job where I was sitting for most of the week, I would make an effort to get away from the desk at much as I could, whether it be walks at lunch, scheduling meetings outside of the office or hitting the gym when I could.

More recently as I’ve transitioned to freelance work with no regular schedule, I do 10,000 steps a day as an absolute minimum and will also do pushups, situps or burpees at home when I don’t have access to a gym. I also try to combine exercise with friends, whether it be going on hikes or playing tennis on the weekends.

Finally, what’s your ultimate favourite thing to do?

I think uplifting others who share similar life experiences and who are actively striving to improve themselves and their situations is something I find much value in. I hope that the content I produce gives someone the inspiration to act and find more meaning in their lives.


Sieving through video content published by Bordersless, we found this two-part video documentary on Singapore’s founding Prime Minister, Lee Kuan Yew.

Photos supplied by Shaun Chee.

Connect with Bordersless:

      

Continue reading AFT Interviews: Digital Creator, Shaun Chee

Les Mills Asia Pacific Celebrates Major Indoor Cycling Milestone

The OG of all indoor cycling programs has turned 100 – and Les Mills Asia Pacific is marking the occasion by hosting RPM 100 celebrations, powered by 100 BODY BIKES, at Carriageworks in Sydney, on Sunday 12 November.

Locally and globally, RPM is one of the most popular workouts from pre-choreographed group fitness juggernaut Les Mills. And this November, Les Mills Asia Pacific will be celebrating a major milestone for the program, when they launch the 100* Release.

RPM® is a group indoor cycling workout where participants control the intensity. It’s fun, low impact and can burn up to 500 calories a session! Set to great music, each class takes participants on a journey of hill climbs, sprints and flat riding. This program lets participants draw on the group’s energy and find rhythm in the music. Participants control their own resistance levels and speed, which enables them to increase their fitness level over time.

RPM is one of three indoor cycling programs that Les Mills offers. Over the years, it has gained a huge following, and has become a favourite among many indoor cycling enthusiasts around the world. This is largely due to its exhilarating and immersive experience, which combines energising music, choreographed routines, and a motivational Instructor who coaches participants to perform beyond perceived limits, so they can perform at their best both inside and outside the cycle studio!

RPM is considered a journey not a race, and is available as a Live and, in some clubs, Virtual, workout.

With each new Quarterly Release of RPM, participants are introduced to fresh routines and music to keep them highly engaged and motivated to return.

Ryan Hogan, Chief Executive Officer of Les Mills Asia Pacific says, “Every quarter for 25 years, we’ve released a new RPM workout for Instructors, Club Partners and members.

That’s 100 workouts’ worth of scientific research, sensational music, choreography design, and Masterclass video production (which are used by Instructors to help them learn the Quarterly Releases). Plus, every three months we’ve held Quarterly Workshops

– both In-Person and Online in recent years – to support the upskilling and education of our rockstar RPM Instructors.”

“The 100″ Release of this epic indoor cycling program is a big deal for so many people,” Ryan adds. “To mark the occasion, we’ve got Glen Ostergaard (RPM Program Director from Les Mills International), Sarah Ostergaard (Head of RPM Training at Les Mills International), and Lee Smith (one of the original RPM Trainers/Presenters for Les Mills As ori has late paris alertoreous Materiages and tmo

Adding to the excitement, and ensuring the indoor cycling experience will be premium, is the partnership between Les Mills Asia Pacific and BODY BIKE Asia Pacific.

“BODY BIKE is a leading manufacturer of indoor bikes, with an impeccable reputation for their exceptional performance, durability and quality,” says Ryan.

The partnership will see riders at the RPM 100 celebrations experience the BODY BIKE SMART®+ indoor bike.

“We’re supplying 100 forest green, ocean blue and black-coloured bikes for this event,” Tony Zonato, BODY BIKE Asia Pacific’s General Manager of Operations and Sales. “The green and blue models have our sustainable bike covers, which are made from recycled plastic, and every bike has over 50% of its weight made from recycled product, as the flywheel and crank assembly are made from recycled steel. It’s a really cool bike, and one of the most environmentally conscious on the planet!”

“In addition to its awesome sustainability factor, these bikes are also cutting-edge due to their advanced features such as real-time data tracking and seamless connectivity,” adds Tony. “These bikes always provide a smooth and authentic cycling experience, replicating the feel of riding on the open road. They’re a top-of-the-line bike, chosen by leading clubs who seek the precision and reliability that enables Instructors to lead their classes with confidence, knowing that they have the best tools at their disposal.

The BODY BIKE SMART®+ cycles are also equipped with a generator ensuring a battery-free, eco-friendly and self-sustaining workout, which is a revolutionary innovation called ‘SMART Charge’, where with every pedal stroke you create power!

“Power to recharge your mind, power to recharge your body, and power to charge your phone!” says Tony. “The power generated by the user allows for data transfer via ANT+ and Bluetooth®, and it supports SMART Charge. This means participants at RPM 100 can bring a USB cable, plug it in and when they start pedalling, if they’ve downloaded the BODY BIKE® Indoor Cycling app from Google Play or the Appstore, they’ll be able to get their data displayed right in front of them!”

The collaboration between Les Mills and BODY BIKE for the RPM100 program filming represents a convergence of two industry leaders who share a passion for delivering exceptional fitness experiences and the mission to create a fitter planet. “Together, we are set to create an unforgettable event that celebrates the success of the RPM program, while inspiring and empowering Instructors to continue motivating their participants to reach new fitness heights,” says Tony.

“This partnership reflects a shared commitment to excellence, innovation and environmental mindfulness in the fitness industry,” Ryan adds. “And these six classes are each set to be a thrilling experience, that will bring together Les Mills Instructors and fitness enthusiasts from around Australia and Southeast Asia.”

Tickets to the RPM 100 celebrations go on sale for Les Mills Instructors at midday

(AEST) today (Tuesday 26 September) and are expected to sell out quickly. Regular tickets go on sale at midday (AEST) on Thursday 28 September.

For full details or to subscribe for updates about RPM 100 celebrations visit www.lesmills.com.au/events/rpm100

Continue reading Les Mills Asia Pacific Celebrates Major Indoor Cycling Milestone

Son of TV Legend Don Lane on Reducing Risk of Alzheimer’s Disease

Centre for Healthy Brain Ageing (CHeBA), UNSW Sydney

Son of TV legend Don Lane ran his first ever Marathon in the 2023 Sydney Marathon event, in support of dementia research led by the Centre for Healthy Brain Ageing (CHeBA).

PJ Lane was just 24 years of age when he lost his larger-than-life father to the disease, and since becoming an Ambassador for CHeBA in 2012 has made it his mission to understand more about Alzheimer’s and other dementias, which research indicates is triggered not only by genetics but also by lifestyle factors.

September is World Alzheimer’s month with Alzheimer’s Disease International (ADI) recently releasing this year’s theme focusing on the critical role of risk reduction to stave off, delay or prevent dementia.

There is a growing body of research evidence that shows there are 12 potentially modifiable risk factors – with a key one being physical inactivity.

Other proven risk factors for dementia include smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, infrequent social contact, head injuries, and conditions including diabetes, hearing loss, depression, obesity, and hypertension – all of which individuals have some control over.

The remaining risk factors include air pollution and restricted access to early education, which governments are responsible for addressing.

ADI says that up to 40% of projected dementia cases could be delayed or potentially even avoided by addressing just 12 risk factors.

PJ, a former professional basketballer who is currently studying a Masters of High Performance Sport, says that losing his Dad to Alzheimer’s disease has made him to everything in his power to reduce his own risk of the disease.

“I’ve often questioned the genetic component of the disease,” says PJ.

“We’re all getting older,” he says. “Although we can’t change our genes or stop ageing, there are fundamental changes all of us can make to reduce our own risk – and remaining active throughout our lives is important.”

To acknowledge this fact PJ chose to up the ante on his cardiovascular health this year and has been running 7 hours a week in preparation for the 17 September event.

CHeBA’s Co-Directors and world-leaders in the ageing brain, Professor Henry Brodaty and Professor Perminder Sachdev, congratulated PJ on his enormous efforts to advocate for awareness into healthy brain ageing, his personal drive to reduce risk of cognitive decline as well and his tireless efforts to raise funds to advance research.

With over 400,000 people living with dementia in Australia and approximately 55 million people worldwide, we have reached a point in history where advancing research is critical.

“Research is key to better understand these risk factors and how we can intervene to modify them and help delay dementia for future generations,” says PJ.

PJ says he continues to be inspired by the prospect that medical research can show early markers of memory decline so that brain disease can be detected before the onset of Alzheimer’s.

“It’s a privilege to work with the team at CHeBA. With the brilliant scientific minds of Henry Brodaty and Perminder Sachdev leading the way to research healthier brain ageing, it has been a wonderful relationship and a Centre I’m extremely proud to support.”

Donate to PJ at: https://sm23.grassrootz.com/cheba/pj-lane

The Centre for Healthy Brain Ageing (CHeBA) is a premier research institute at UNSW Sydney. Learn more here: www.cheba.unsw.edu.au

Continue reading Son of TV Legend Don Lane on Reducing Risk of Alzheimer’s Disease

Dementia Australia Honours Patron Sir Michael Parkinson CBE

Via PRNewsGIG

Dementia Australia honours renowned broadcaster and Dementia Australia Patron Sir Michael Parkinson CBE, affectionately known as Parky, following his passing at the age of 88.

In honour of his mother, Freda Rose, who lived with vascular dementia, Sir Michael was a valued supporter of Dementia Australia and the former Alzheimer’s Australia NSW. In 2010, he was appointed as Honorary International Ambassador, Alzheimer’s Australia NSW and in 2017 accepted the role of Patron Dementia Australia.

(L-R) In 2011, Dementia Australia Patrons Sir Michael Parkinson CBE and Ita Buttrose AC OBE surrounded by former Ambassadors PJ Lane and The Hon Maxine McKew AM and Dementia Australia Ambassadors Natarsha Belling and Doris Younane.

As Patron Dementia Australia and an Ambassador for Alzheimer’s Australia NSW Sir Michael generously contributed to raising awareness and vital funds by sharing about the impact of dementia on his mother and his family.

Dementia Australia CEO Maree McCabe AM acknowledged Sir Michael’s extraordinary support in Australia, the United Kingdom and around the world for raising awareness about dementia.

(L-R) Dementia Australia Patron Sir Michael Parkinson CBE and Master of Ceremonies and Dementia Australia Ambassador Natarsha Belling, NSW Parliament House event 2011.

“Since 2010 he was guest speaker at a number of significant Dementia Australia fundraising events, appeared in our Fight Dementia television advertisement in 2011, often shared his experience in media interviews, supported Memory Walk & Jog campaigns and other important fundraising activity,” Ms McCabe said.

“Sir Michael’s committed and far-reaching advocacy has made a profound and lasting difference to the lives of people of all ages living with dementia, their families and carers in Australia and around the world.

Dementia Australia Patron Sir Michael Parkinson CBE, NSW Parliament House event 2011.

“He was so gracious and generous and we are so honoured and grateful to have had his support.
Fellow Dementia Australia Patron and Chair of ABC Ita Buttrose AC OBE recognised Sir Michael’s invaluable influence.
“I had the privilege of being interviewed by him and interviewing him for television and for Dementia Australia,” Ms Buttrose said.

“Michael was the most generous of supporters. He was incredibly giving with his time and sharing his personal experience to help others.

(L-R) Dementia Australia Patrons Sir Michael Parkinson CBE and Ita Buttrose AC OBE and Dementia Australia Ambassador The Hon John Watkins AM.

“Nothing was ever too much trouble for him.

“Like everyone whose lives have been impacted by dementia, he knew what his advocacy work meant, and he worked tirelessly to raise awareness and funds.”

Dementia Australia Newsletter – 2011.

Dementia Australia Newsletter – 2011.

A group of Dementia Australia staff sent Sir Michael Parkinson CBE a thank you photo after one the many successful fundraising events.

 

Dementia Australia is the source of trusted information, education and services for the estimated more than 400,000 Australians living with dementia, and the more than 1.5 million people involved in their care. We advocate for positive change and support vital research. We are here to support people impacted by dementia, and to enable them to live as well as possible. No matter how you are impacted by dementia or who you are, we are here for you.

For support, please contact the National Dementia Helpline on 1800 100 500. An interpreter service is available. The National Dementia Helpline is funded by the Australian Government. People looking for information can also visit dementia.org.au

Media contacts: Megan Jones, Media & Communications Advisor, 0411 461 678, megan.jones@dementia.org.au
When talking or writing about dementia please refer to Dementia-Friendly Language Guidelines.
If this story has prompted any questions or concerns, please call the National Dementia Helpline 1800 100 500 (24 hours, 7 days a week) or visit dementia.org.au.

Text and Photos by Dementia Australia.

Like this?

Share it:

Dementia Australia Honours Patron Sir Michael Parkinson CBE is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International license. Quote Source: https://www.australiafitnesstoday.com/?p=14699&preview=true

Four reasons to study fitness in Australia

Via PRNews/GIG


Fitness is a thriving sector in Australia. The country has quickly become one of the top destinations, for individuals wanting to further their education. Sport, whether for recreation or health and fitness, has become an inseparable part of Australian culture. The fitness industry is continuously growing, and this is reflected in the demand for fitness jobs over the last few years. Because of their love of sports, Australian institutions are an excellent fit for international students who want to learn about the science of exercise and sports.

If you want to further your education and career in fitness, keep reading to learn why studying in Australia is the best choice for you.

Diverse programme selections

One of the many benefits of studying fitness in Australia is the variety of programmes offered by Australian institutions.  With these diverse options, individuals can choose a programme that aligns with their interests and goals.

Six of the top 100 universities in the world are located in Australia, including some of the top universities that offer various fitness programmes. Individuals interested in becoming personal trainers can take courses specialising in personal training, while those interested in recreational sports can take a diploma in sport and recreation. This variety enables students to select a course that best meets their interests and career objectives. Moreover, completing an exercise and sports science diploma can lead to a variety of professional pathways both in Australia and abroad.

Dundee Kim seated left, with his team at Fit Education Australia.

Top-notch education

Home to a world-class educational system, Australia has built a reputation for offering high-quality education to the fitness industry, among others.  As a result, Australia’s fitness programmes are well regarded on a national and international level, and this recognition has assisted many graduates in finding jobs related to their subjects of study.

Furthermore, the Australian fitness sector is quite competitive and demands a high level of knowledge and professionalism. As a result, the courses provided in Australia are designed to address these needs and provide graduates with the knowledge and abilities they need to be successful in the field.

Nearly 100 courses from 25 Australian institutes are accredited by Exercise & Sports Science Australia (ESSA), the professional organisation dedicated to creating, promoting, and maintaining the careers of tertiary-trained exercise and sports science professionals. This is to ensure that exercise and sports science courses meet a high standard of excellence.

Dundee’s Boxing Gym Brisbane, where you can train with champions

Modern infrastructure with a vast network

From small gyms in the alleyways to big personal training studios, the fitness industry in Australia is well-equipped with state-of-the-art facilities. Many gyms and fitness centres include various equipment and facilities, such as cardio machines, weight machines, and group exercise programmes. There are also numerous fitness plans and applications available online. The programmes offer personalised workout plans and diet recommendations that cater to people with specific needs.

In addition, many established companies, such as Dundee and Fit Education, are investing in the fitness industry, providing networking and employment opportunities for graduates. The industry events, seminars, and workshops these establishments organise allow individuals to network and learn from professionals in the field. Networking is vital for individuals just beginning their fitness careers as it may lead to future employment opportunities.

Dundee Kim and team at Fit Education Australia

Growing fitness industry

The fitness industry in Australia is a vibrant and vital component of the Australian economy. Over the last few years, the industry has grown significantly, with a number of new fitness facility chains established nationwide. This comprises smaller fitness studios, indoor and outdoor personal training facilities, health clubs, fitness centres, and fitness franchises.

These businesses offer various fitness and exercise services, including personal training, classes, memberships, and casual gym use. Australians spend an estimated $8.5 billion annually on fitness-related products and services, with the fitness sector alone bringing in $3 billion for the country’s economy. This growth has also resulted in an increase in the number of fitness events, seminars, and workshops, allowing individuals to thrive in this booming industry.

The takeaway

A fitness career can be both interesting and lucrative. The future also appears promising, with studies predicting a 16% increase in fitness jobs by 2024. With such high demand, you must have a solid foundation in the industry. This is where a good fitness education programme comes in. Attending the best fitness institutions in Australia may give prospective personal trainers the resources, knowledge, and abilities they need to succeed in the fitness business.

Dundee Kim pictured wtih Australian Boxer, Jeff Horn.

Text and Photos contributed by Dundee Kim, Founder of Fit Education Australia.

Initially learning the art of boxing to protect himself from bullies, Dundee Kim eventually harnessed his skills to become a two-time amateur boxing champion in South Korea. From there he migrated to Australia to become the Associate Director of International Relations, and then the Regional Director of International Relations at James Cook University. He eventually became the founder of Dundee’s Boxing & Fitness gym in Brisbane.

Like this?

Share it: Four Reasons to Study Fitness in Australia is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International license. Quote Source:  https://www.australiafitnesstoday.com/?p=14708&preview=true