When it comes to keeping fit, there is a dedicated group of people who have made it almost a ritual to take part in a free fitness boot camp as the sun rises on the beautiful Sunshine Coast beach of Mudjimba.
Located near to GemLife Pacific Paradise, the bootcamp, where some residents are regular participants of the three-day-a-week course, was the brainchild of qualified Masters lifesaving trainer Scott Peirce. The trainer took the initiative of starting up the free beachside boot camp eight years ago to help people of all ages engage in regular exercise classes to keep fit.
“It is totally free, runs from 5.45am to 6.30am on Monday, Wednesday and Friday and caters for all fitness levels. We also run boxing training on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and everyone is welcome to both,” said Scott.
He said the boot camps, which are attracting people aged from their teens to their 70s, are aimed at encouraging members of the community to move their bodies and keep active.
GemLife Pacific Paradise resident Dennis Sheehan has been attending the classes on Mudjimba Beach since moving to the resort eight months ago.
“It is all totally free and I was going five times a week at the start. Scott changes the exercises regularly so you can’t get bored, and we do everything from knee-bends and push-ups to sit-ups. There are about 25 different exercises as well as weights, ropes and we also run up the beach,” said Dennis.
He added that living on the Sunshine Coast where the early morning water temperature is often up around 22 to 25 degrees also entices many in the group to take a dip after exercising.
“I enjoy the social aspect of it too with many of us getting together for a coffee afterwards.”
Scott believes the free boot camp could be one of the best kept secrets on the Sunshine Coast because he doesn’t advertise. It is largely word-of-mouth. He just puts it on each morning and anyone who would like to join is welcome. Sometimes this can be generations of the same family.
“There are so many benefits to regular exercise. Stretching and strengthening the bones through resistance work is so beneficial to our overall fitness, and we cater for all fitness levels. If you can’t do the exercises, we will give you an exercise that suits you better. It is important not to push yourself.”
Scott, who also studied martial arts for 13 years, is committed to training others and says he loves the early morning starts.
“I probably get just as much out of these boot camp mornings as my students,” he said. The fitness boot camps are attracting up to 20 people a session while a further eight to ten are attending the boxing workouts.
He would also like to see anyone new to the GemLife Pacific Paradise resort come along and join. “Often, after training, everyone gets together at one of our local bakeries or coffee shops to unwind, socialise and enjoy the beautiful Sunshine Coast at its best.”
Dennis applauded Scott’s commitment to fitness and providing free classes to the local community.
“He welcomes everyone, is so likeable and friendly and really cares about the people in this great community. I am so glad my wife Doreen and I met him in the coffee shop eight months ago after one of his sessions because through attending his fitness mornings we have made some wonderful new friends while also keeping fit.”