Mayor Greg Williamson and Tri-ActiV8 president Nikki Giles on the spin bikes at the Try the 5 launch at the Mackay ARC.
Mayor Greg Williamson and Tri-ActiV8 president Nikki Giles on the spin bikes at the Try the 5 launch at the Mackay ARC. Aidan Cureton

Five things Mackay's doing to shed its weighty image

MAY is a day away and with it comes the Try the 5 campaign to trim the fat off Mackay.

Last year the Sugar City held the unflattering title of 'fattest city in Queensland' and the name weighed heavily on Mackay Regional Council, which set out to tip the scales with a new fitness initiative.

Mayor Greg Williamson happily launched the program's second run yesterday alongside 10 ambassadors from various sporting codes.

"Mackay had the dubious record of being the most obese and least fit community in regional Australia," Cr Williamson said.

"We've clawed ourselves back from that, but that's where this program comes in. It's to make sure our community is as fit as can be."

During the month of May, more than 40 get-active events and introduction sessions will be held across the Mackay region, from Sarina in the south, west to the Pioneer Valley and north to Seaforth.

Biking, gym, water sports, walking and running, as well as the new addition of adrenaline sports, are all fields resident can engage in for free.

The Mackay ARC is also getting involved, with a number of swimming and running classes being held at the new facility.

"We got a lot of participation in the fist year," Cr Williamson said.

"We want to build on that and make sure we energise as many people as we can."

Residents can share how they are getting involved in the campaign by sharing photos or videos of them being active to win $6000 in fitness prizes.

First up is Bike Week, starting with a 7am ride at the Bluewater Quay on Wednesday.

 

HEALTHY START: Brendan Ross, Mayor Greg Williamson, Nikki Giles, Pamela White, Kay Nyenuh, Sergeant Nigel Dalton, Martin Lambert, Samantha Cole, Lauren Matthews, Chrissy Den Elzen and Sharon Mills at the Try the 5 launch.
HEALTHY START: Brendan Ross, Mayor Greg Williamson, Nikki Giles, Pamela White, Kay Nyenuh, Sergeant Nigel Dalton, Martin Lambert, Samantha Cole, Lauren Matthews, Chrissy Den Elzen and Sharon Mills at the Try the 5 launch. Mackay Regional Council

Meet the ambassadors for the Mackay Try the 5 campaign

Sharon Mills - Mackay Cycles

Sharon Mills said her goal for Try the 5 was to boost the number of people on bikes, especially women.

She, along with Mackay Cycles, will host a ladies only ride on May 4 as one of their events to achieve that goal.

"There will be lots of biking fun and madness," she said.

Nigel Dalton - Mackay Police

While you are more likely to find expert swimmer Sergeant Nigel Dalton in the water the Mackay policeman is one of the ambassadors for Bike Week.

Mackay Police have come on board to encourage healthy behaviour and also promote exercising safely.

"Active people are less likely to be engaged in criminal activity," Sgt Dalton said.

Nikki Giles - Tri-ActiV8

One of last year's continuing ambassadors, Nikki Giles is excited about bringing out the adrenaline junkie in Mackay residents. "We got involved last year and we're really excited to deliver some more adventure based activities in the Mackay community," she said. "We were able to engage many (last year) with a few activities, but it was mainly in build-up for Zach Mach."

Brendan Ross - Hibiscus Coast District Scouts

Living life on the edge is what Brendan Ross hopes Mackay locals start doing after an abseiling class at Rowallan Park.

"We want to get people out there on the rocks, on the ropes," he said. "We want to encourage kids over the edge and have trust in the gear."

Chrissy Den Elzen - Pro Paddle Mackay

The sport of paddle boarding is one of the fastest growing water sports in Queensland and Chrissy De Elzen wants to showcase the beach views at the Mackay Marina. "In offering these smaller taster sessions, I'm hoping that those people who come out to try it want to stay involved," she said.

Trissi Pearce - SUP Adventure Fitness

Trissi Pearce wants Mackay residents to take in the scenery when paddle boarding around her home ground at Platypus Beach, in the Pioneer Valley. "It's different to the marina where you get the seaside view. For us it's the serene nature and trees," she said "It's a nice cardiovascular fitness and it's good for your core. Good for those who may not want to run," she said.

Kay Nyenuh - Muscle Garden

Returning for the second year with the Try the 5 program is Kay Nyenuh. He hopes to get people off the couch and on their feet.

"One of the reasons people don't exercise is because they think it is expensive," he said. "When you go behind that reason you realise you can exercise without spending a dime."

Samantha Cole and Lauren Matthews - Primefit

Two health buffs from Sarina, Samantha Cole and Lauren Matthews, are ready to bring their aerobics to Mackay. The co-owners of Primefit are also proud supporters of women fitness. "Lots of people say they can't afford it, so it is great that this is all free," Matthews said.

Martin Lambert - On The Run

Everyone can run, but Martin Lambert said having people to run with made the experience worth the early starts and he hopes to see more newcomers than last year.

"Last year we saw a lot of people who were already active," he said. "I'd like to see some people off the couch (for a) change of lifestyle not just a change in sport."

Pamela White - Women Who Walk, and men too

Walking is for everyone is the message Pamela White had to share so she hopesd to see more try the walking/running events this year.

"We have some walkers who are recovering from health issues, but others who like to walk fast. It's for everybody," she said.



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