On Friday night Fitness Australia kicked off their 2020 Australian Fitness Awards’ online series with a lavish virtual cocktail party to announce the first five winners for this year’s awards.

The national award winners for Group Exercise Instructor of the Year, Community Exercise Program Award, Boutique Fitness Business of the Year, Fitness Australia Quality Accredited Business of the Year and Fitness Australia Top Les Mills Instructor Award were presented virtually for the first time due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Held by the nation’s peak fitness industry body, Fitness Australia, the Awards recognise and celebrate individuals, businesses and community groups dedicated to improving the health and wellbeing of Australians by providing exceptional programs and high quality professional services.

The annual event is the only national awards program dedicated to the fitness industry and received a record 2,000 nominations across eleven categories for individuals, businesses and community groups.

Fitness Australia CEO, Barrie Elvish, congratulated the Australian Fitness Award winners and said the award recipients’ stories of commitment and excellence were outstanding.

Mr Elvish said:

“Every Award winner announced this evening has demonstrated the upmost dedication to the health and wellbeing of their communities through consistently delivering high quality services in a professional and safe manner.”

An expert panel, consisting of a diverse group of industry representatives, conducted a thorough assessment of each finalist across a range of areas including professionalism, customer care, knowledge and skills, safety, and leadership to select the category winners.

2020 Australian Fitness Awards winners announced:
Group Exercise Instructor of the Year, sponsored by Les Mills Asia Pacific: Samantha Williams

Samantha is a Group Fitness Instructor who has been the inspiration behind a healthy lifestyle change in her community. As part of her group fitness program she ‘digs deep’ into the clients’ lifestyle, limitations, roadblocks, goals and nutrition habits, with her main passion being working with women, especially mums. Samantha’s connection to delivering exercise to community groups also include mental health and disability groups, junior Football groups and kids’ groups.

Community Exercise Program Award, sponsored by OneMusic Australia: Love to Live Program

The Love to Live Program was created by Program Director Michelle when her mother in law moved into an Aged care facility after a battle with cancer. After Michelle saw the dated programs on offer, she knew that she needed to create something more exciting and functional. The classes integrate elements of rhythm and a range of movement to encourage mobility, improve motor function and promote an overall feeling of wellbeing. The program has specifically been built with the aim of meeting the requirements set out by the recently introduced aged care standards, with the resident being the centre of focus at all times.

Boutique Fitness Business of the Year, sponsored by NPE Fitness: Inner Athlete

Inner Athlete, owned and operated by Trent Pirihi, opened in mid-2019 and is a personal training gym located in Cheltenham Victoria. Inner Athlete delivers extremely personalised and goal driven programs for private training, body activation and sports preparation. To achieve this personalised approach, Inner Athlete has a maximum of eight clients training at once with one to two coaches present to ensure they can deliver quality coaching without overcrowding the facility.

Fitness Australia Quality Accredited Business of the Year: Richmond Recreation Centre

Receiving the highest Fitness Australia accreditation rating, Richmond Recreation Centre has been recognised for fulfilling an outstanding standard of quality practice across Customer Care, Information and Knowledge, People, Leadership, Professionalism and Safety.

Fitness Australia Top Les Mills Instructor Award: Diane Robertson

As a former Moulin Rouge dancer, Diane has always had a passion for fitness. After struggling with eating disorders, Diane found Group Fitness and thrived in the atmosphere. Soon after discovering Group Fitness Diane became a Les Mills Instructor and prides herself on providing high energy and enthusiastic classes whilst committing to executing a safe and effective workout. Diane is currently in India studying Yoga and when in Australia, she keeps herself busy being the Group Fitness Manager at Goodlife Gym Coomera, Queensland.

The next virtual award ceremony will take place on Tuesday May 5th and will announce the 2020 winner for Club Manager of the Year, sponsored by Australasian Leisure Management.

More information about the 2020 Australian Fitness Awards can be found here. For more information about Fitness Australia, please visit: fitness.org.au/keeponmoving or follow Fitness Australia on Facebook.