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Fuel Women’s Fitness Business Summit 2024 ‘made way’ for engaging and inspiring presentations 

Fuel Women’s Fitness Business Summit 2024 ‘made way’ for engaging and inspiring presentations 
May 6, 2024

With the theme ‘Make Way.’ the Fuel Women’s Fitness Business Summit returned on Friday 3rd May, with presentations, panel discussions and awards that engaged, entertained and inspired its attendees.

Held at Sydney’s Hilton, the Summit saw its speakers focus on ways in which women in the fitness industry can ‘Make Way’, sharing strategies for empowering women and innovation.

Delegates to the 2024 Summit heard from top female speakers and experts in the field delivering their insights into a range of topics, including the benefits of advisory board memberships and mastering the media.

Kayla Itsines, renowned fitness entrepreneur and co-founder of women’s fitness platform, Sweat, was the headline speaker and participated in a fireside chat, facilitated by Liz Nable.

Delegates were entertained by an engaging and insightful session, delving into the intersection of fitness and entrepreneurship and Itsines’ meteoric rise to success. Her journey from a personal trainer to a global fitness icon provided invaluable lessons for women in the fitness business landscape. Itsines stressed the importance of authenticity in the fitness industry.

On Itsines’ involvement Fuel Women's Fitness Business Summit co-founder, Deborah Goldberg, shared “we are honoured to have Kayla Itsines as our headline speaker for this year's summit. “Her success story is not only inspirational but also aligns perfectly with our mission to empower women in the fitness industry.

Louise Broekman (above) shared her entrepreneurial journey towards becoming a founder and Chief Executive of the Advisory Board Centre and her passion for the benefits of Advisory Board membership.

Liz Nable (above) delivered an informative presentation on how to master and leverage the media highlighting (as we often do at Australasian Leisure Management) that everyone has a story to tell. Don’t be afraid to pitch your ideas and stories to media - but do your research on the style and requirements associated with each publication.

Nable noted “we all have powerful stories within us” and these stories are “often one of our most important marketing assets.

“Choosing the right media platform for your story will showcase your credibility, expertise and passion.”

Nable also suggested to Franchisees who think that marketing via media is “not my responsibility” to think again – as franchisees have the ability to share stories that appeal to the local community which can allow them to build connections with community and give their business a personality.

Personal Trainer, Nikki Rubino, delivered a passionale talk on the fitness and wellness needs of the seniors in our community - highlighting this demographic needs more airtime in the industry. Rubino provided examples of the work she is doing with a number of seniors, emphasising "everyone deserves the right to be strong, no matter what level in life you are!"

Rubino achieved her goal in sparking conversations around this very significant demographic. 

This year, the 2024 Fuel Woman of the Year was awarded to Mish Wright (above). As the Head of Education at Women’s Fitness Education Wright now leads the charge in shaping how fitness professionals approach women’s health right from the start of their training. This role allows Wright to impact the foundational learning of future fitness leaders, ensuring they are equipped to support women effectively.

The Fuel Woman of the Year award seeks to celebrate and honour the trailblazing women who are reshaping the landscape of the fitness industry with passion, innovation, and a touch of fearlessness.

The Fuel Scholarship was awarded to Melody Durupt from Technogym Australia (above) who passionately and successfully pitched to the audience as to why she should be the recipient of the scholarship.

The Fuel Women’s Fitness Business Summit Panel “The Real State of Fitness Business in Australia” offered attendees the opportunity to hear from women in leadership roles discussing a range of issues including  “What gets you excited about the fitness industry?” “ How is Artificial Intelligence impacting membership?” “What would you like to see women be more of?”  and “How can more women step into leadership positions?’

Panellist included Elaine Jobson, Chief Executive Jetts Australia; Brooke Daubney, Business Performance Manager @ KX Pilates; Anne-Sophie Palmer, Chief Operating Officer - BUMP Health & Fitness; Michelle Furniss, General Manager - Gym at Xplor Technologies; and Georgia Nides Chief Executive Officer & Founder at Zoii Pty Ltd and 2023 Fuel Summit Australian award winner.

Among the panel's Q &A session were the following take- aways: 

What gets you excited about the fitness industry?

Georgia Nides: “The Fitness industry’s collaboration with the wellness industry.”

Brooke Daubney: “Excited that the fitness industry is starting to back itself and there is less competition within the industry”

Michelle Furniss: “The pivot from aesthetics and since Covid, the fitness industry’s intersection with the wellness industry. “

How is Artificial Intelligence impacting membership?

MF: “AI has been brought to the forefront. While AI is useful in automating repetitive chores, it does not have any passion associated with it.”

BD: “We need to embrace AI and if it scares you, then you need to learn about it and become familiar with what it can offer your business.”

GN: "Ai is never going to replace human connection but look at ways to integrate it into your business.”

Elaine Jobson: “The speed of change is exponentially fast. While AI can be harnessed to help business, please don't take personable out of fitness.”

What would you like to see women be more of?

EJ: "It feels very lonely being a female Chief Executive and this has to change. Have to see more women stepping up into leadership roles.”

Anne-Sophie Palmer: “I want to see more women be more comfortable with themselves.”

GN: “I would love to see women be more open to receiving help as it doesn't impact your credibility.”

BD: “We need to be more courageous and put our own value above others.”

MF: “I would love for women to celebrate as entrepreuners not 'mumpreneurs'

How can more women step into leadership positions?

EJ: "Imposter syndrome is one of the most damaging things preventing women from getting ahead in business. We need to kick whole thing to the curb.”

ASP: “Be comfortable not being comfortable.”

Images from top: Kayla Itsines in a fireside chat facilitated by Liz Nable Credit:Fuel Syd; Itsines and  Nable. Credit: Karen Sweaney; Louise Broekman. Credit: Fuel Syd; Mish Wright; Liz Nable; Nikki Rubino; Melodie Durupt and panellists. Credit: Karen Sweaney

About the author

Karen Sweaney

Co-founder and Editor, Australasian Leisure Management

Artist, geoscientist and specialist writer on the leisure industry, Karen Sweaney is Editor and co-founder of Australasian Leisure Management.

Based in Sydney, Australia, her specific areas of interest include the arts, entertainment, the environment, fitness, tourism and wellness.

She has degrees in Fine Arts from the University of Sydney and Geological Oceanography from UNSW.

Read more from this author

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30th April 2024 - Gallagher insurers to be among sponsors of Fuel SYD 2024 Summit

9th April 2024 - Applications open for inaugural Fuel 2024 Scholarship

26th February 2024 - Sweat co-founder Kayla Itsines to headline 2024 Fuel Women’s Fitness Business Summit in Sydney

12th January 2024 - Fuel Women’s Fitness Business Summit introduces New Zealand Woman of the Year award

31st October 2023 - Fuel Women’s Fitness Business Summit expands to Auckland in 2024

7th February 2023 - Fuel Women’s Fitness Business Summit returns for 2023

16th March 2022 - Fuel Women’s Fitness Business Summit set for April return

29th August 2019 - FUEL Women’s Fitness Business Summit to return in 2020

8th May 2019 - FUEL Women’s Fitness Business Summit backs Human Kind Project


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