Sue’s journey at ASV began 15 months ago.
Her first sporting passion was football – but over years of playing, including representing her country at the national level, she suffered a host of different injuries and eventually had to hang up her boots.
Over the years Sue searched for another sport that appealed to her and had a number of failed starts for getting back into fitness, but she never really found the passion or drive she had for football. Instead, she got her sporting fix through reading various football books and biographies while her son, Callum, attended badminton at ASV.
As the weeks went by Sue began speaking to her son’s coach Mark Gauci, who volunteers for ASV, and she learned more about everything going on at ASV. They also began having great conversations about where she was at in her own fitness & wellness journey, what ASV could do for her, and what she was interested in.
After a few such talks Sue was inspired to give the gym a go while her son was at practice. And then, being a self-described all or nothing person, she decided to sign up for an annual membership as “I knew if I committed to a year, I’d do it.” After surpassing her goal to try a HIT class at the gym by March 2022 – she attended her first in February! – she never looked back.
Of course, her journey back to a more active lifestyle was not without its hurdles. When she signed up for a membership, she was undergoing consultations with an orthopaedic surgeon for her left knee and re-introducing more activity into her daily life meant dealing with more pain in her knee more often than not. But with support from her son and husband, and her new friend and gym partner Mark, she committed to staying consistent with exercise and ultimately lost over two stone in weight and dropped four dress sizes.
“What ASV has done for me with fitness, the mental and emotional well-being, I feel a lot better about myself and it’s filled that void. And I wish I’d done it so much earlier! But with being a mum, the pandemic, and just not having that motivation, it took a while for that lightbulb to eventually come on. But Mark investing the time in coming to chat with me as a parent [of one of the kids he coaches] and asking questions really gave me the inspiration to come and dip my toe in.”
Along with the individual benefits, Sue has experienced first-hand how integral ASV is for groups and the wider community.
Her employer Wood. took part in ASV’s 2022 Corporate Games and she and her colleagues loved competing in each event. She also saw what that event did for the well-being of everyone who took part – “it gave me the opportunity to share what I got from ASV with my colleagues.” Wood. is one of the co-sponsors of ASV’s 2023 Corporate Games.
Sue was always involved in a club environment for sport, when Mark approached her about becoming a volunteer for the Squash and Rackets Club it was easy to say yes. “I’d spent so long on the sidelines, and I didn’t want to be on the sidelines anymore – I wanted to be right back in the middle of a club.”
She also saw the chance to give back to the community and people who might not otherwise have the opportunity to experience ASV. Following last year’s Corporate Games, she approached Wood. about pursuing funding through their Global Employee Cause Fund, for a communities project aimed at delivering sport to local children in partnership with ASV and the University of Aberdeen. More information on the Sustainable Communities Project will be released soon!
While Sue has accepted that her football days are behind her, her passion for sport and fitness has well and truly been re-lit. She admitted that she never did finish the biography she was reading when she and Mark started talking – and doesn’t know if she ever will! But meeting so many people, being involved in a thriving rackets club, helping launch a community initiative, and finding a new obsession – pickleball – has been an absolute game changer for her and her health.
Being able to play sports with her son was a big drive in her initial motivation to get back to fitness but looking back on the last 15 months Sue is proud to say, “I’ve found friends and most importantly, I’ve found myself again.”