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Hervey Bay teacher and former BMX racer Michael Waldock has come full circle by turning his love of sport into a rewarding career helping others achieve their goals.

Initially from Gympie, Michael was drawn to a life of action and adventure early on, making tracks as a self-proclaimed ‘BMX bandit’ from the age of five. It’s a passion that’s followed him throughout his life, and is the driving force behind his decision to pursue a career in the sport and fitness industry.

“My love for sport and my extensive experience with injuries from my various stunts over the years is what led me to study sport and fitness, as well as massage,” Michael said.

“If it had two wheels, I was on it and if it had a ramp and a gap, I would jump it!"

“But while I loved racing, I knew that career had a shelf life, and I was just as passionate to coach sport as I was about participating in it.”

Michael's career in sport and fitness started when he enrolled at TAFE Queensland’s Hervey Bay campus, spending two years developing his knowledge and skills. A highly dedicated student, Michael was awarded the title of TAFE Queensland’s Hervey Bay Student of the Year, as well as regional Vocational Student of the Year at the Queensland Training Awards.

Michael then moved to Mackay for his first job, where he worked as a personal trainer and fitness instructor at a gym. After building connections within the local mining industry, he was offered a role as health and lifestyle coordinator for Rio Tinto’s Hail Creek Coal Mine, were he developed and ran all their lifestyle projects.

But Michael had left a lasting impression on his teachers during his studies, and it didn’t take long for them to contact him to see if he would be willing to return — this time as a teacher.

“When one of my lecturers called me asking if I would be interested in teaching, I jumped at the chance,” Michael said.

“I started managing the on-campus gym and teaching two days a week, which quickly progressed to fulltime teaching within 18 months.”

It was here that Michael discovered a new calling in sharing his knowledge and skills with others and helping them to achieve their goals.

“While my passion for fitness hasn't wavered, I have grown to love teaching just as much. The truth is I'm passionate about the students and the sacrifices and commitments they make to their own passion — that drives me to do what I do,” Michael said.

Michael still teaches sport, fitness and massage at TAFE Queensland’s Hervey Bay campus, and said he finds it incredibly rewarding helping others kick start their careers in the industry he loves.

“I teach because I love the thrill of seeing students grow in front of my very eyes. I love having a small role in someone’s life during that one time they're doing something for themselves, and making a commitment to their own futures," Michael said.

“I love helping them dig deep when they're starting to feel lost and hopeless, and more importantly, I love seeing them come through the other side and completely excelling to achieve far beyond my own abilities."

“I am just in awe of students that are investing so much into me — I'm obligated to match their commitment with my own by providing the superior experience they deserve.”


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