KRISTY Bethel is determined to keep her small remote community in Far North Queensland healthy in mind and body, despite being about four hours away from the nearest gym.
The farmer, mother and personal trainer runs group fitness classes in Georgetown and once a week on her cattle station at Forsayth.
“You’ve got to travel four hours to go to a gym, so I thought why not give the people out here what they’re missing from the city,” she says, while on one of her multiple 40km journeys on a rough dirt road between town and the station for the day.
“We’ve had some great transformations; a couple lost over 25kg between them. But I tell them it’s a lifestyle change, consistency is key and you do something day in day out for health.”
Kristy is passionate about creating opportunities for not just fitness but also socialisation, organising a netball competition that saw people travel nearly three hours just to be a part of.
“It’s tough where we are out here, there’s cyclones, floods, drought. It’s really important to help people think clearly and great to socialise as well,” she says, a firm believer keeping active helps mental health in the bush.
“(It’s special) seeing their stories and them saying what I’ve done for them over the last couple of years, changing their lives for the better.”
Between dropping the kids at school and heading back to Georgetown for her fitness classes – which may be anything from boxing and strength to water aerobics and pilates – Kristy tends to duties on her family’s Jenkins Creek Station, which runs about 1000 head of Brahman cattle.
Kristy and her husband, Willi, also travel to other properties to help family muster cattle.
Just as Katrina Hickey, a fitness class participant, says: “Kristy is involved in anything and everything she can be in our small community”.
Kristy is nominated for The Weekly Times Shine Awards, celebrating the achievements of rural women across Australia.
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Originally published as Rural mum determined to keep community healthy out bush