Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Interview: Carol Andrews - Group Fitness Coordinator at Mill Park Leisure

All my life I have been interested in fitness. I played in all the school Rounders, Softball and Netball sides, then continued Netball throughout my Teenage years. I played indoor cricket with all my brothers and sisters, until I discovered Group Fitness classes.

In 1979 I commenced work at the Commonwealth Bank, where my girlfriend suggested I go with her to the Gym. I participated in my first class at Fitzpatrick’s Gym in Brunswick. On the 10th February 1983, I instructed my first class at Mill Park Squash courts and then Lifestyle Greensborough.  In January 1989 I commenced Instructing at Whittlesea YMCA, where l taught classes at both Mill Park and Thomastown.

I met my husband Shane in January 1992 and by 1994 my life changed completely when I gave birth to my first son Nathan, followed by Mitchell in 1999.  Still instructing classes and working full time as a Bank Manager for the Commonwealth Bank, throughout those years I decided in 2000 to leave the bank and be a full time Housewife/Mum.

That lasted less than 5 months as I then joined the team at Mill Park Leisure again as an Instructor,  later becoming the Group Fitness Coordinator.  I have been in this role for over 10 years. My passion is Group Fitness, Boot Camp and Small Group Training, but also my family.

My weekends are now spent watching my boys play football or cricket, those days of coming home from a night club at 7.00am and doing a class at 9.15am, (some participants will remember those days) are long gone!

I am from a large family, I have 4 sisters and 3 brothers, and we were all very competitive as a family when it came to sport.  My Dad was our Indoor Cricket coach, we all played in the one team that became very competitive on field and off field.  Over the years my brothers and sisters have slowed down, but I haven’t.

These days I share my passion for fitness with my own family - Shane, Judy and Greg (Shane’s parents), as they are members of Mill Park Leisure. I am a very proud Mum and often brag about my boy’s achievements - that’s the Leo in me (loud and proud)! I love to have fun whilst I’m taking classes, Boot Camp or Small Groups BUT - don’t think it will be  easy, as  I love to train hard!

1. What do you?
Group Fitness Coordinator, Group Fitness Instructor and Personal trainer, (wife, mother, nurse, financial advisor, educator, life coach every other job associated with a wife and Mother)
2. What is your definition of success?
Helping a participant reach their goals, seeing a smile on their face whilst training, seeing a positive change in peoples life.  When a client says to you I have to thank you for you have made me a better person”. (Ultimate compliment).

3. What are your thoughts on the parallels between business and sport?
A business should not always look at the financial side of things, but at what it is doing to change the lifestyles of the community.

4. I think we can sometimes learn more from the mistakes we make. What are some of the biggest mistakes you’ve made along the way?  And what did you learn from this?
Never say Never, as situations change. If you are ashamed of it, don’t do it again.

5. What are the 5 top tips you’d give the average person wanting to improve business performance?
  • Be genuine.
  • Your clients are your business, treat them as you would like to be treated.
  • What would you expect to get from the business if you were the client.
  • Don’t over commit.
  • Be open to new ideas.
6. What do you think has enabled you to achieve success with the health and fitness industry?
My passion and enthusiasm. I only do what l am passionate about, as I have more enthusiasm to achieve.  Not what has the largest numbers, or the latest trend.

7. How do you consistently sustain performance in your business/career?
Keep fit, keep it interesting, and look for new challenges. be genuine with what you are into. (Don’t know it, don’t bluff it, research it).

8. Tell me your thoughts about developing a successful team culture.
Make sure the team know what their role is, understand  and agree together what the teams goals are, what the business expects, support, train, mentor and work together, to reach the teams goals.

9. And your thoughts on how to turn a mix of different people and personalities into a world class team?
Try to use the different personalities to the team’s best advantage.

10. Who has had the greatest influence on your career and what lessons did they teach you?
Group Fitness: Les Mills Instructors/programs - it has helped me be a better Instructor. From a bad class to a great class you can learn something from it. It is what you do with what you have learnt. Act on it or ignore it. Hopefully I act on what I have learnt to be better at everything I do.

11. After a great result, how do you celebrate?
Set a new Challenge (after a celebration drink maybe!)

12. What’s the most satisfying thing you’ve ever done and why?
Sorry, you can’t beat giving birth, creating a life or 2.

13. What do you do outside of work to relax and wind down?
Watch my 2 boys play football or cricket.

14. Where do you see opportunity in the health and fitness industry in the next 5 years?
  • Small group training
  • Increase Older Adults activity rate
  • Increasing Youth activity in the Community
15. What is your one gripe/whinge about the health and fitness industry?
Over flooded with Instructors that do it for the money, not the love of fitness and a better lifestyle for others.

16. Now’s the time eight quick questions…

  • What is your favourite song? Any hard core motivating song that makes people want to move more.           
  • Favourite athlete? My 2 boys Nathan and Mitchell Andrews      
  • Food? Asian                                                                        
  • Holiday destination? Beach  Resort anywhere as long as it is hot and with my family          
  • Most recently read book? 50 marathons in 50 days                  
  • What really annoys you? People that won’t try.                      
  • If you could do anything you wanted; what would it be? At the moment, take my family on a long holiday overseas.
  • Where would you like to be in 5 years time? Where else! Training with the great members here after that long holiday with my family. Also, hopefully still have both parents alive.


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