By Esther Lauaki
What’s your connection to Wyndham?
My grandfather came to Werribee to live after the Second World War, and worked on the Metro Board of Works. My parents were born in Werribee, went to school in Werribee and built their first house in Hoppers Crossing. I was born in Werribee, grew up in Hoppers Crossing, went to school in Hoppers Crossing, played netball/athletics for Hoppers Crossing. I also started my business here and am raising my own family in Wyndham.
What are you passionate about?
People and their health. I began my career in the fitness industry where I helped people achieve and maintain their health and fitness goals, for the past 19 years I have been a myotherapist and strength and conditioning coach. I help people with musculoskeletal injuries and get them moving back into their normal function and lifestyle.
Tell us about your sporting background.
I played netball from the age of 7 at the old Hoppers Crossing netball courts and then at Werribee Recreation Centre and represented Elmer Region Netball in my teens. Continued to play netball and indoor netball, including the Victorian Masters games with my last game being six months after having my daughter. I’ve also been involved in Little Athletics from the age of 6 (to beat my older brother) at Galvin Park for Hoppers Crossing and represented Werribee in the regional clubs up until the age of 17. Now I am into trail running and love it.
You are taking part in a “Push Up Challenge” at the moment. What does this involve and what is it for?
The Push Up Challenge is about creating awareness around mental health. We have been given a goal each day of how many push-ups we need to achieve and share this amongst ourselves, our patients help out with some of the numbers too. Injuries West decided to participate as a team to create conversation around mental health to help in eliminating the stigma that is still around this issue. We work with people all day every day and it’s important we understand the person in front of us. It is also important to us to show our patients that push-ups can be completed in many different ways depending on your ability and function. Our work as myotherapists is to get people moving and back to normality, especially after injury, and this is a great way to get people talking. We have been having a lot of fun with the push-ups each day, especially the several takes of videos it takes to complete each task.
What hats do you wear in the Wyndham community?
I’m a mum, wife, small business owner, strength and conditioning coach to our children’s programs. Began our kids strength and conditioning programs with encouragement from Beyond Blue – mental health and physical health work together. We had many parents coming to us to see if we could help keep their kids in sports. There is a large drop-out at ages 14/15 years in sport. We developed our programs that are not only fun to participate but create physical and mental strength abilities.
What do you love about Wyndham?
Love to chat to the many generations that are still about in Wyndham. Wyndham has grown enormously over the years, however there is still an amazing community built with many families of multiple generations ready to help each other out at a drop of a hat.
What would you like to see improved?
Sporting venues to be available for children to train and play their sport. Our venues are packed with the multiple disciplines of sports every weekend with games running from early morning to late nights with the overflow either going to school gyms that will open or with some sports forced into having byes for the week.