Aqua instructor makes waves by claiming major state award
For the second consecutive year, a Mitchell Leisure Services’ staff member has been rewarded for their outstanding work with a prestigious state award.
Lisa Higgs was last week presented with the Victorian AUSTSWIM WETS Aqua Instructor of the Year Award.
The award, one of eight categories presented each year, identifies and honours instructors who use the WETS (Weighted, Energetic, Turbulent, Suspended) techniques in their aqua classes.
It’s the second year in a row a Mitchell Leisure Services instructor has taken out a major title, with Jennifer Fuhrmeister awarded the Victorian AUSTSWIM Teacher of Adults Award in 2017.
Ms Fuhrmeister went on to take out national award in that category later that year.
Ms Higgs, who has been with Mitchell Leisure Services for four years, said it was an honour to win such a prestigious award.
“It was a big surprise (to win the award). I think mainly because I absolutely love my job and it’s a bit weird to receive an award for something you enjoy so much. It’s something I’m very proud of,” she said.
Ms Higgs said she loved coming to work each day and improving the fitness of her students, who range from people in their 20s to 90s.
“As I say to my participants, I wouldn’t be here doing what I do if it wasn’t for them, I do it all for them,” she said.
“I have the best job in the world. In the fitness industry we’re always continuing to improve, studying and learning all the time, which is a great part of the job.
“Every day you have to bring your best to get the best out of other people.”
Ms Higgs was nominated for the award by colleagues Lisa Gawne and Billie Asprey.
Ms Asprey said Lisa was a joy to have around the leisure centres.
“Lisa’s energy and the passion she brings to work every day is amazing,” Ms Asprey said.
“She’s so willing to help everyone who comes into the centre and she is a fantastic mentor to all the other instructors as well. She is always there to guide them and provide support and advice.”
Mitchell Shire Mayor Rhonda Sanderson said the award was well-deserved.
“It’s absolutely wonderful when local people are recognised among the wider community for their dedication and hard work,” Cr Sanderson said.
“I applaud Lisa, and all the other Mitchell Leisure Services staff, for the valuable work they do in supporting the community to keep healthy.
“We’re extremely proud of Lisa’s achievement and we wish her the best of luck in the national award later this year.”