Fitness Instructor Euthimia Spiridonidis is showing the power and possibilities of a career change by being honoured as Central Institute of Technology’s 2015 Student of the Year last night.

Euthimia (Meah), from Karrinyup, was presented with the title at Central’s annual award gala at the Empyrean in Northbridge.

The newly qualified fitness instructor began her working life as a change management and training consultant in the corporate world.

“After working in consulting it was clear that the type of work and environment was not suited to what I wanted to do and how I wanted to live my life. Health and fitness has always been an important area to me and realising that I could potentially build a career in the industry really inspired me to take on the challenge,” said Meah.

Euthimia in the gym she manages
Meah in the gym she manages

Her passion for the fitness industry comes down to her view that today’s society has lost the essential elements of what it is to be fit and healthy.

“We live in a world where we are predominantly sedentary; our lives are served up to us on screens and being active has been lost. The effect of this on individuals and their wellbeing is not only physically huge, but mentally is enormous and extends far beyond the individual,” explained Meah.

As part of her training, Meah was involved in a physical activity program with the Disability Services Commission and would like to do the same with similar initiatives.

“Volunteering my time to help in aged care and disability programs from a fitness perspective I believe would be very rewarding,” said Meah.

She is currently working at Central’s Vibe Gym where she applies her skills and knowledge gained from her studies.

“Long-term, I would like to have my own business offering health and wellness services, not only in regards to fitness but also nutrition and massage in order to provide a holistic service for the mind, body and soul of my clients.”

Masterful Performance

Central Sport students were privileged to hear a talk this month from arguably one of Australia’s greatest coaches – Ric Charlesworth.  Ric hasn’t just reached the top of the sporting world.  A snapshot of his resume includes:

  • WA cricketer, opening batsman, Sheffield Shield winner
  • Trained and worked as a General Practioner
  • Silver Medalist Men’s Hockey 1976 Olympics
  • Decade in Federal Parliament as Federal Member for Perth
  • Coach of women’s national hockey team the Hockeyroos for 7 years (winning two Olympic gold medals)
  • Coach of men’s national hockey team, the Kookaburras for 5 years (winning the 2014 World Cup).
  • High Performance Coach for New Zealand cricket team
  • Father of five

Ric was in Leederville as part of a series of talks from sporting leaders aimed at guiding and inspiring our sport students.  His presentation focused on the skills of coaching and the development of high performance.

He began by talking about the importance of ambition.  “If you want to be successful, I don’t care what it is, you better have high ambition,” he said.

Ric quoted the first book he came across that introduced the concept of ‘sports psychology’ – Maxwell Maltz’s Psycho-Cybernetics.  Written in 1960, the author introduced the idea that life changes according to the image we hold of ourselves.  “In our lives we are like guided missiles, we usually end up where we aim,” Ric reiterated.

The presentation then moved to a discussion on the parallels between business and sport.

“International sport at the highest level is extremely competitive and it is very hard to remain at the top for an extended period,” said Ric.

“In addition, in the sporting world unless you win the premiership, or the gold medal, or the final you are not seen as being successful. There is that edge to sport that makes it a very competitive environment.

“Business thinks it is competitive.  Yes, you can grow your business and you can make a profit and you can consider it to be successful, but one major difference between the two is that high level sporting achievement involves constant TRAINING. Athletes spend more time training than they do actually playing,” he said.

Ric believes the business world would be quite different if every situation and every transaction was seen as a training/coaching opportunity in the same way as high level sport.

The presentation moved on to a breakdown of the ingredients required to be an effective coach.  In his opinion, these are simply:

  • Be yourself
  • Know what you want and stand up for it
  • Assume leadership-which is about knowing where you want to go and getting people to follow you
  • Insist on quality in everything
  • Make it fun and interesting (most important part)
  • Listen to other people, be open to opinion
  • Trust your judgment
  • Be a learner
  • Take responsibility

Ric outlined that in terms of performance, moments of inspiration are nothing compared to the elimination of error.  In other words, it is repeatability that matters, being able to perform at the critical moment, making the throw or shot every time.  If your team is going to perform under pressure, this consistent delivery is essential.



In Ric’s experience, successful sports people all have one thing in common – they don’t know how good they can be.

“It is up to a coach to lift them up and give them the ambition to work hard and be as good as they can be,” he said.

“Coaches don’t change anybody.”

Ric went on to describe the qualities top teams have in common, which are:

  • Smart– they use technology and innovation e.g. GPS, video to their advantage. Win or lose, they measure results and track progress to improve weaknesses and consolidate strengths
  • Healthy– for Ric the most important part of all is a healthy organisational culture that allows for open honest conversations and criticisms in order to constantly improve. This involves clear values, a prescribed style of interaction, honesty and openness.
  • Diligent– a strong work ethic and attention to detail, making sure everything is covered
  • Skilled– technical ability gained through practice and challenging themselves, the 10,000 hours of practice doctrine.

To prepare for the high stakes of World Cup or Olympic finals, Ric would create challenging training situations.  He would suddenly change the rules, make the goals smaller, let one side have more players, or perhaps deliberately make a bad call.

Such moves were designed to make training more difficult than the actual game and create resilience within the group. In Ric’s view, the more you have thrown at you in training, the more prepared you are to tackle anything that may occur on the big day.

In closing, when asked how he would like his coaching to be remembered, Ric responded with simply – “That guy, he really pushed us”.  For Ric, taking athletes beyond what they thought they were capable of is what being a good coach is all about.


Information on Central’s Sports qualifications