PERSONAL trainer Mel Irons has held a passion for health and fitness ever since she watched her mother teach aerobic classes in her homemade leotard and slouch socks.
Since receiving her Certificate III in Fitness in 2004, Ms Irons has gone on to establish an award-winning personal training business, Booty, to help Tasmanians reach their health and fitness goals.
In recognition of her hard work and contributions, she was recently announced the Tasmanian winner of Fitness Australia’s inaugural #ActiveAchievers Award, which recognises outstanding fitness trainers and instructors across Australia.
One winner from each state is chosen from among hundreds of nominations.
Ms Irons was nominated by Booty client Sean Carter for her holistic approach to mind and body wellbeing in improving the health and fitness of her clients.
She has created a group fitness community that sees more than 200 people register for blocks of sessions, which include group classes with information sessions from specialists in areas such as psychology, mindfulness and running.
Ms Irons said she felt “very humbled” to receive the nomination.
“I was amazed to be announced the Tasmanian winner, but this award isn’t about me at all, it’s about Sean,” she said.
“A lot of Sean’s work during his health and fitness change was done largely on his own, so Booty was just the icing on the cake for him.
“He had already started to work towards a more comfortable weight and greater fitness before he joined us, but I think he nominated me – and the whole team at Booty – because we made him start to see that exercise could really be something social, enjoyable and fun.
“He has done a truly amazing job and I am privileged to be a part of his life.”
Ms Irons said her greatest contribution to the fitness industry was shifting commonly held attitudes.
“It shouldn’t be ‘go hard and go home’,” she said.
“I want to be a good, realistic role model to people and teach them about what the helpful messages about health are.
“These include consistency, not seeing things in black and white, not being obsessive and that every little bit counts.”
As the Tasmanian winner, Ms Irons also went into the running to be chosen as the overall #ActiveAchievers winner, which was announced alongside the winner of the Student Award and the Awards of Honour at Fitness Australia’s annual gala dinner, held on Friday 30 October on the Gold Coast.
Jo Damaldl, of Eleebana Fitness – in Eleebana, New South Wales, was named the national #ActiveAchievers winner.
Fitness Australia chief executive officer Lauretta Stace described the awards as a recognition of the achievements of trainers and instructors across Australia.
“There is a huge amount of excellence and innovation in the fitness industry and fitness professionals work with a wide range of people to help them to meet their health and fitness goals,” she said.
“These awards give us a chance to acknowledge and celebrate the contribution that fitness instructors and trainers make to the health of the nation.
“The positive work to improve the wellbeing of their clients is invaluable.”
For more information about Booty, visit www.gobooty.com.au.