Robyn Raymond is part of an active family with husband, Dennis, and kids, Baxter and Gracie, firmly ensconced in the hills sporting scene. Over the past few years Robyn has applied her life-long love of team sports into a passion for team based group training, making Stirling Fit Co a place where you’re likely to achieve your fitness goals AND make some new friends in the process. We walked past one such group of friends enjoying coffee outside The Patisserie to have a chat with Robyn.
Tell us how your fitness journey started.
I’ve always been a sports player including 5 years of State League netball and high level basketball, and then professionally I started as a PE teacher at Unity College, Murray Bridge in 1997. I got into fitness when the kids came along and I had a mobile fitness business and a gym in our home garage. When I outgrew the garage I took on the gym in Stirling.
What is the fitness ethos at Stirling Fit Co?
My aim is to make Stirling Fit Co a one-stop shop for people’s fitness needs and we offer exercise physiology, personal training, group training, a creche and counselling with a counsellor who specialises in body image. On the list for 2018 is to add a dietician and massage into the mix. But more than anything our aim is to make fitness interesting, fun and motivating. I like working in groups and I love what being part of a team brings to the gym atmosphere. We change our group training sessions daily and are constantly mixing things up to keep it fresh.
We’ve heard that there’s quite a social scene at Stirling Fit Co. How did this all come about?
To be honest I think the members drive this themselves. I try very hard to create a comfortable, happy and positive environment and make sure everyone is properly introduced, and the rest takes care of itself. The camaraderie is now really strong with coffee groups, breakfast groups and plenty of impromptu coffee dates like the one out the front right now. The blokes have set up intermittent “Man Night” events that I’m obviously not invited to. Our Christmas function was a bus tour around the hills finishing up with dancing at the Stirling Hotel. I saw a couple of gym families together recently at Carols by Candlelight and it makes me smile to think that their friendship formed at the gym.
Do you keep an eagle eye on your members at these social functions?
NO! When it comes to social events the gloves are off!
What’s the best thing about your job.
Definitely getting to work with people and helping them to achieve their fitness goals. I have a strong belief in the value of team sports, and my aim is to bring these values to fitness training so that it’s not a solitary activity but rather something that’s done in a supported team environment. Plus, I love the diversity and banter that comes with group training, and we have plenty of characters at the gym! Truly I think I have the best job in the world.
What do you think are the benefits of team based sports and fitness?
Teams are all about creating a support network where team members stick up for one another and encourage each other. It’s not about taking control of things on your own but rather operating as a team player. There’s some really valuable life lessons for the workforce in terms of working together and collaborating to achieve more positive outcomes. I have a small team of trainers that help me in the gym and they have a team sports background as well. Pete is currently in WA playing in the state championships for cricket, plus he also coaches the Summertown Netball Club. Tori plays league netball for Hahndorf.
You’re obviously very fit and healthy. What are your vices?
I’m a sweet tooth so I try to avoid bakeries as much as possible as I could easily scoff a streusel. Plus, I’m constantly being teased about my shoe addiction. At last count I had 23 pairs of sneakers and I could make an alternative career out of shopping for activewear and sneakers. For the record, you can never have too many sneakers!