The heartbeat of Sydney Uni Sport & Fitness is its people. Sera Naiqama spotlights three staff members in a lighthearted 60 second interview to learn more about some friendly faces you may notice around our facilities.
EXERCISE PHYSIOLOGIST KAY FOONG
1. WHAT INTERESTS YOU MOST ABOUT THE HEALTH AND FITNESS INDUSTRY?
Helping people live or move better through exercise. As an Exercise Physiologist, working with clients who have chronic conditions or injuries and seeing them get better and stronger each day is so satisfying and rewarding. Simple goals like having the strength to walk up a flight of stairs without pain can make a huge impact in a person’s life.
2. WHAT IS ONE MISCONCEPTION IN THE HEALTH AND FITNESS INDUSTRY YOU’D LIKE TO DEBUNK?
Lifting light weights to “tone your muscles”. I hear so many members say they want to build muscle mass or muscle tone but they’d be afraid of lifting heavy because it will make them bulky. Two things are necessary for ‘toning’, decreasing your body fat and increasing your muscle mass. You won’t increase your muscle mass by lifting light weights. I tell my clients – what doesn’t challenge you won’t change you and unless you lift heavy, for a lot of reps, at a high volume, and significantly increase your food intake, you won’t get bulky.
3. FAVOURITE SONG TO WORKOUT TO AND WHY?
Anything with a good beat and bass to get me going. Like What So Not, Skrillex and Dillon Francis. Lately, Remember You by Hayden James has been my go-to gym tune.
4. HOW DO YOU PREFER TO BE WOKEN UP IN THE MORNING?
Back when I was living at home, my dad was always the first to be up and he’d put something on the speaker. It would be The Eagles, Andrea Bocelli, Michael Buble or U2 and gradually everyone would wake up to the music playing. It was really soothing starting the day like that.
5. WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST PET-PEEVE IN THE GYM?
People who obsessively check themselves out in the mirror. You don’t have to constantly flex your biceps in front of the mirrors!
6. WHAT IS SOMETHING YOU’VE NEVER TRIED BUT WANT TO?
I got into scuba diving last year so I would like to try diving in Narooma on Montague Island with some furry seals.
CUSTOMER SERVICE ADMINISTRATOR BEN WALDNER
1. WHAT IS YOUR DAY-TO-DAY ROLE HERE?
As part of the front desk team, I am the first point of contact for members. We make sure everything runs smoothly at SUSAC, people know where they’re going and answer any questions for current and prospective members.
2. WHAT IS THE THING YOU LIKE BEST ABOUT YOUR WORK?
The best thing about working at SUSF is definitely the people. I love working with other young students who are passionate about sports and fitness. Everyone is really easy-going and it’s an awesome work atmosphere.
3. WHAT DO YOU WORK TOWARD IN YOUR FREE TIME?
I’ve just graduated from my Master’s degree in Risk and Security, so the biggest thing on my mind at the moment is kick-starting my career in that field. Other than that, I’m focussing on my usual New Year’s resolution which is getting stronger for the next footy season.
4. IF YOU COULD INVITE ANYONE IN THE WORLD TO LUNCH, WHO WOULD IT BE? AND WHY?
At this stage, anyone who is willing to buy but I’ll take Kevin Hart as a back-up.
5. WHAT ARE YOUR THREE MOST OVERUSED WORDS/PHRASES?
I’ve been told I overuse pretty much all quotes from Anchorman or Forrest Gump. However, my new favourite is “How good is country music!”
6. WHO IS YOUR HERO AND WHY?
Even if it sounds corny, my hero would have to be my old man. He’s pushing 60 and still goes on regular Cross-Alpine mountain bike trips. I would struggle to do that even at my age.
GROUP FITNESS INSTRUCTOR NOURA RIDHA
1. WHAT IS ONE OF THE MOST SPECIAL THINGS ABOUT WORKING AT SUSF?
Hands down, the members. They amaze me every single session.
2. WHAT CLASSES DO YOU TEACH?
I teach Grit (my personal favourite), Sprint and BodyPump.
3. WHAT MOTIVATES YOU TO GET OUT OF BED IN THE MORNING?
I have the best job in the world so what’s not to love? (Oh and also coffee!)
4. WHEN YOU’RE NOT TEACHING A CLASS, WHERE WILL WE MOST LIKELY FIND YOU?
Watching my favorite sports and preferably live. I support the Hawthorn Hawks (AFL) and Sydney Kings (Basketball).
5. WHAT WOULD YOU SAY TO SOMEONE CONSIDERING BECOMING A MEMBER OF SUSF?
You can’t go wrong because we have everything here. Great classes, incredible staff and instructors who are really driven about what they do.
6. 3 WORDS TO DESCRIBE YOU…
Passionate, loyal, always hungry.