BARCALDINE personal trainer Halina Williams said she was shocked when she found out she was a finalist for the 2020 Australian Fitness Awards’ Personal Trainer of the Year.
Sponsored by Lorna Jane, the awards recognise and celebrate individuals, businesses and community groups dedicated to improving the health and wellbeing of Australians by providing exceptional programs and high-quality professional services.
The annual event is the only national awards program dedicated to the fitness industry.
Mrs Williams said she had to re-read the email twice to make sure it was sent to the right person.
“I was thrilled,” she said.
“I have worked so hard to get to where I am and just to be acknowledged for that has been amazing, especially out here in the middle of nowhere. It’s pretty incredible.
“I was very proud of myself to say the least.”
Mrs Williams qualified as a personal trainer in 2018.
Although, she tried many different avenues of work before realising her dream job.
She said she wanted to be a police officer or nurse because of her passion to help others, but neither felt right.
“I have always been into health and fitness. I used to be a gymnast,” she said.
“When I started training myself and working on my own insecurity and mental health, the changes I felt and the things I saw in myself, I thought this is what I want to help people do. This is the road I want to take in order to help other people.
“I love watching people grow, watching them learn and accomplish many hurdles within their lives.
“It was through my own experiences that I realised this was where my passion is and where my heart lies.”
Mrs Williams moved to Barcaldine in 2016 after her husband got a job in the region.
She opened her own fitness studio in July last year, called Lina Life Fitness.
“It all started when a group of teachers came up to me and asked me to teach them,” she said.
“I was nearly qualified as a fitness instructor, so I thought I would give it a go and trained them for free for the experience.
“It was about four months after that Central West Aboriginal Corporation approached me and asked if I would run classes for women in town.
“We started an eight-week challenge and that just escalated and exploded – so many people got involved.
“The classes just kept getting bigger and I thought there was obviously a need for it in the community. There was obviously a connection I was having with these women and more and more wanted to get involved and it just grew from there.”
She said the growth of her business had “exceeded expectations” since opening last year.
“Business has been amazing. I have hired another trainer to help me and I have another one training up to also help out,” she said.
“We even help people on rural properties who can’t get into town now. I train them externally online via a program.
“Even surrounding suburbs have asked me to come out to them and train their local community members, which is something I would like to do later in the year now that I have more trainers helping me.”
She said if it wasn’t for the commitment of her clients and word of mouth, she wouldn’t be where she was today.
“I was basically training out of my garage or at the local showgrounds or outdoor gym,” she said.
“I went from training out of my garage to being offered a studio out the back of St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School.
“This community has been the backbone to my business and still is.
“I can’t thank my clients enough for their support and encouragement. They have helped me just as much as they believe I have helped them.”
Mrs Williams said it would be incredible to take home the title of Personal Trainer of the Year.
“I think having an award like this shows your commitment, hard work and willingness to strive and keep moving forward,” she said.
“It’s like a mini promotion and people look at you more professionally.”
Her message to others in rural communities looking to qualify as personal trainers was to follow your heart and “don’t do it for the money”.
“Don’t work for the money, work for the clients,” she said.
“Have that willingness to want to help people. Every person you come across has needs and requirements and it does take a lot to learn about every individual and understand what their needs are.
“For anyone wanting to do this, just make sure you are willing on giving 110 per cent because it’s not as easy as people think it is.”
Lina Life Fitness is located on Fir St, Barcaldine, behind St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School.
If you are interested in joining a class, contact Mrs Williams at firstname.lastname@example.org
National winners will be announced at the 2020 Australian Fitness Awards Gala Dinner in Sydney on Friday, May 1.
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