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Let me hear your 'Boo'dy talk.

Whip on the lycra, as it's time to get physical in Mirboo North with a fun and physical BooFiit session.

Oct 21, 2021

Words: Jaci Hicken

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In smaller Gippsland towns, you might find a lack of regular fitness classes.

One community, Mirboo North, is moving to change that with group fitness classes called BooFiit.

started in July 2019, when a group of women began holding group fitness sessions together.

They pooled their resources and hired a trainer for a six-week boot camp at the rec reserve.

"It just grew from there. We all wanted to get together, exercise and have a bit of fun," volunteer coordinator Stacey Harriage said.

"Through the support of the community, we have moved classes to the Baromi Centre, which means there are additional programs BooFiit can offer. For example, classes like barre, Pilates and yoga."

"We all wanted to get together, exercise and have a bit of fun."

Even through lockdowns, BooFiit has grown to a six-day-a-week operation, with about 15 different fitness classes on offer, welcoming everyone.

"Different people come along at different times of the day. We have classes for the early birds, high and low impact and everything in-between, all with qualified instructors.

"Our youngest members are pre-schoolers at our dance classes, all the way up to our oldest member who is 72."

"Mid-morning classes are child-friendly. Sometimes more toddlers are running around than class participants. Many of the mums that attend are not only getting stronger, but they are also building stronger local support networks, with regular coffee catch-ups after class."

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One of those mums is Emilie Aisbett, a new mother and teacher for the deaf, who moved to the town at the start of 2019.

Emilie started doing BooFiit because, "I was new to the community. I didn't have many friends or connections in town. So, I felt I needed to go out and be active with others.”

"I've met lots of great people. And I've enjoyed making connections," she said.

Her newborn son, Trevor, is very much a part of the BooFiit community as well. “We walk down the street, and everyone's like, ‘Hello Trevor’,” Emilie said.

“BooFiit kept me moving, kept me going, and I was still attending classes at 36 weeks and loving it.

"I love both the physical element and also the social connection with others, making lots of friends."

“We walk down the street, and everyone's like, ‘Hello Trevor’,”

There are at least six different qualified trainers running the membership-based classes.

One of the trainers is Courtney Webb, a barre, Pilates and yoga instructor.

When BooFiit was looking for trainers to take Zoom Pilates classes during last year's lockdown, Courtney, still living in Melbourne, contacted Stacey and offered to help.

Now permanently living in Mirboo North, Courtney's city counterparts didn't know what she would do when she moved to the country.

"A lot of people were just like, ‘Oh my god, what are you going to do?’. And I was like, ‘I guess I'll just find somewhere to teach’," Courtney said.

"A lot of people were just like, ‘Oh my god, what are you going to do?’

"And when the opportunity with Boofiit came up, I was like ‘Wow!’, even though I was moving to a small town, the opportunities are kind of endless.

Probably more so than in Melbourne [too], because you know more people more intimately, and the connections that you get with your clients."

"Here, because the community is smaller. You get to know everyone a little bit better. And it just feels nice. I'm really grateful to be part of BooFiit."

Courtney loves seeing the instant benefit BooFiit participants have from moving their bodies in 30-to-45-minute classes.

"BooFiit's great. They have a good stock of equipment. Props are really good because they support and challenge you depending on what you are doing. But they are not compulsory to get the most out of classes," Courtney said.

"I've come from classes where I'm teaching 30 people in a room in Melbourne, to now teaching 12, maybe 15 people when we're at full capacity.

“I think the thing that I really like is the look on the participants’ faces after class, they just look really happy.”

To learn more about the superfun BooFiit program or join a class, please follow @boofiit on Facebook and Instagram.

Gippslandia - Issue No. 20

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