The Fitness Zone
Most Olympians spend a large part of their lives training to be the best in the world in their chosen field, but what happens when the time comes for them to compete in their last Olympics and retire from elite sports? It appears that this has been considered by many elite athletes long before they swim their last Olympic stroke or run their final race, with a significant number of athletes choosing to study while they are still competing at an elite level, or shortly afterwards.
A number of Olympic athletes have become, or are currently in the process of becoming qualified as a Personal Trainer or Massage Therapist, certified as a Nutrition Coach and/or studying Fitness Business Essentials with the Australian Institute of Fitness. This includes current Olympic athletes, Emily Seebohm and Brittany Elmslie (swimming), Alex Hagan (rowing), Melissa Wu (diving), and Glenn Turner (hockey).
Choosing to study for a career in fitness while training as an Olympic athlete not only complements and enhances their own training, but helps an athlete to prepare for their future, beyond elite sports. According to Olympic swimming Champion and Australian Institute of Fitness Master Trainer (personal trainer) graduate, Emily Seebohm:
“Studying at the Australian Institute of Fitness has helped me in my swimming career and it will help me in later life as well."
Other Australian Olympic legends, including Leisel Jones and Libby Trickett (swimming), and Matt Shirvington (athletics) have chosen to study on retirement, which has seen them build on their existing sports knowledge and passion to create new business opportunities.
Three time Olympian, Libby Trickett, is currently studying the Australian Institute of Fitness Master Trainer Program to become a personal trainer. Libby has just completed her Certificate III in Fitness and will now move on to study for her Certificate IV, which will see her qualified as a Personal Trainer. According to Trickett:
“With my experience through swimming, I have always been interested in how the body works and how to maximise performance but since retiring I’ve also become very interested in and incredibly aware of how important it is to take care of your body for both physical and mental health. I would like to be able to educate and help people take care of their bodies and their minds to allow them to live happy and functional lives. My big picture goal is to incorporate health fitness and wellness in the corporate world.”
The Australian Institute of Fitness is committed to supporting Australian athletes through its Elite Athlete Program. The program offers scholarships to athletes through partnerships with organisations including Western Australian Institute of Sport (WAIS), Hockey Australia and The Rugby Union Players’ Association (RUPA).
Dyanne Ward, CEO, Australian Institute of Fitness said: “There’s a great buzz on our Campuses at the moment as we celebrate all the outstanding Olympic athletes who we are proud to call Friends (students) and Warriors (graduates). We are proud be helping them to build successful businesses in the fitness and health industry long after they have retired from elite sports.”
Australian athletes currently competing at the Olympics who are Students and Graduates of the Australian Institute of Fitness:
- Emily Seebohm, swimming, Master Trainer Graduate
- Brittany Elmslie, swimming, Fitness Instructor Graduate
- Melissa Wu, diving, Master Trainer Student
- Glenn Turner, hockey, Master Trainer Student
- Alex Hagan, rowing, Massage Therapist Graduate
Past Australian Olympic athletes who are Students and Graduates of the Australian Institute of Fitness:
- Leisel Jones, swimming, Nutrition Coach Graduate and Master Trainer Student
- Libby Trickett, swimming, Master Trainer Student
- Matt Shirvington, running, Master Trainer Graduate
- Matt Welsh, swimming, Master Trainer and Business Graduate
- Stacey Porter, softball, Master Trainer Graduate
- Vanesssa Stokes, softball, Master Trainer Graduate
- Jesse Phillips, kayaking, Fitness Instructor Graduate
- Travis Nederpelt, swimming, Master Trainer Graduate
- Casey Vincent, running, Master Trainer Graduate
- Tamsin Hinchley, beach volleyball, Master Trainer and Business Graduate
- Mark Anthony, judo, Master Trainer and Business Graduate
- Robert Frank, table tennis, Fitness Instructor Graduate.