When Broni McSweeney, a fitness professional, moved back to Perth she immediately went looking for a local fitness conference to attend.
“I’ve gone to them almost yearly, for the last 20 years, and I love them. They are a great way to stay up-to-date with research and technology as it relates to what we do as exercise professionals, but they also help keep us motivated, connected with others who face the same struggles as we do, and connected with local experts who can help our clients in ways we may not be able to.”
It turns out there wasn’t a fitness conference in Perth and there hadn’t been one since 2016!
As Broni explains “At the time COVID was taking a huge toll on the fitness industry and the W.A. borders were still closed which meant there was little opportunity to head interstate or overseas for a conference. It seemed like an important time to get something off the ground on a local level and so with that the first FICs Conference was organised and rolled out in August 2022, to local exercise professionals. While small, (capped at just 100 people), it was successful enough for a second one to be scheduled for May 14th, 2023 and a third one for March 2024”.
90% of attendees rated the conference as ‘Great’ or ‘Excellent’!
By bringing local exercise professional together Broni anticipates that over the years the industry will get stronger and stronger, and she’s no stranger to seeing it play out like this in the past.
While working in New Zealand she set up monthly workshops in Christchurch for activity providers. There ended up being over 300 of them, utilising 200+ presenters, being run for more than 10 years and funded entirely thanks to a network made up of the local District Health Board, The Heart Foundation, Local Council and Partnership Health, meaning they were free for all attendees, as they were seen to be of such great value to the people and communities those activity providers worked with.
At this stage, Broni and the FICs team are putting it all together for the love it, keeping prices as low as they can to reduce the financial barriers. This has meant this year’s early bird tickets were as low as $127 with additional discounts to anyone who attended last year. In the past it would have cost her about $1500 to travel interstate for the national fitness conference, so it’s certainly a much cheaper option, but she says those prices wouldn’t be possible without the huge support of the ARC in Cockburn, the Fremantle Docker function crew, the presenters, the many attendees that offered assistance wherever they could as well as the FICs Advisory Committee, made up of local industry experts, who have all dived in to share ideas and offer support wherever they can.
This year’s conference will be held on May 14th at the stunning Cockburn ARC and all gym instructors, group fitness trainers, personal trainers as well as lecturers and students of fitness courses are encouraged to come along. For more details head to www.FICsEducation.org. or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
All pictures below can be downloaded and used with this media release.
The conferences take place on the lands of the Whadjuk Noongar people, who have been educating and strengthening their communities since time immemorial. FICs Education pays their respects to their elders, past and present.
More about Broni McSweeney – The FICs Coordinator
While born in Bridgetown, in the south-west, Broni spent 20 years working in the New Zealand exercise industry as a gym instructor, personal Trainer, group fitness instructor, lecturer, conference presenter, judge at the national fitness awards, writer and creator of a 20 week challenge that was rolled out nationwide by around 200 trainers to thousands of people. In 2011 she was awarded the Fitness NZ Award for outstanding contribution to the industry and in 2012 won the Fitness NZ Lecturer of the Year.