Club Active fitness consultant Tash O'Connor
“Exercise should be a daily routine that is fun and enjoyable, not a chore. The benefits of exercise are well documented, as it makes you feel better, helps with improved brain function, you make better choices, move better, and just about everything is better,” says Tash.
“There’s a great social element to the gym and pool too at Club Active, especially for some of our older customers who often meet up there, and then go and have a coffee together. Exercise has even proven to be beneficial for sufferers of depression – in other words, sport is the best drug for everything.”
Tash has worked at the Council-run Freyberg Pool in some capacity for 14 years, initially as a Receptionist, then she moved poolside as a trained Life Guard, then got qualified and moved upstairs as a Fitness Consultant – but her earliest memories are learning to swim there when she was 5-years-old.
“I remember looking up at the ceiling and thinking it was so huge, and I’d never make it to the end of the pool – but I did.”
Freyberg pool and gym caters to all ages and body requirements, and Tash knows that better than most.
“I’ve worked with IHC kids, teenagers, 70-plus year olds, all with varying stages of fitness and needs, but the energy is always positive, and there are no ‘label-watchers’ here”, she laughs.
Statistically, women tend to want women to be their consultant, so as the only full-time female Fitness Consultant at Freyberg, Tash has her work cut out for her, and although she admits it can be tiring she wouldn’t change a thing.
“When members join they get five free appointments where there’s a meet and greet, their medical history is checked, we assess any injuries, build a health profile, and set some goals. Next up we go through the programme that we’ve set for them based on their specific needs – which can be just general health to training for a triathlon. We also offer nutritional advice, and have follow up consultations.
“I’ve worked in other gyms, and I think what makes Freyberg special is that the staff is like one big family here. Because of the shift work, we eat here, brush our teeth here, shower here, and exercise here, so it’s a bit like a flatting situation with lots of laughs, lots of competition, and the odd fight – especially over whose turn it is to do the dishes!”
The gym has regular in-house projects, with the next exciting event seeing members go up against staff in a circuit training challenge.
“These are always popular, especially as we have some good sponsorship so have lots of prizes on offer as an added incentive,” says Tash.
When Tash left school all she wanted to do was play sport so her parents thought studying Recreation Event Management & Sport would be a good solution – and it was.
“The WelTec Fitness Instructions Certificate block courses took over a year, but training is ongoing as every few months we also do scenario training to be well practiced for every eventuality, and we regularly meet up with the other gyms to find out what the latest exercises, programmes, and equipment is on the market.”
Club Active has a variety of water and land-based group fitness classes for all levels and interests, including aquafit and pregnancy classes, and land-based classes like yoga, zumba, pump, and boxing fit.
With the Club Active membership you also get access to Freyberg pool and the other Council-run pools, spas, saunas, and steam rooms: Wellington Regional Aquatic Centre; Thorndon; Karori: Khandallah; Tawa; and Keith Spry – which is due to reopen this summer following major upgrade work.