For Leah, the centre manager at Stadium Club, moving from the Sydney Football Stadium to a temporary location in the EQ precinct has opened up a new world.
Prior to this, she had no idea that the Quarter had so many great eateries and shops; exhibitions and shows; kid-friendly recreation areas; and a fantastic Wednesday market of which she has become a dedicated fan.
It’s a bit of serendipity for the fitness executive who is also a new mum.
Stadium Club is an exclusive gym and fitness centre and is a sub-unit of the Sydney Cricket Ground. Gold and Platinum SCG members and their families have access to the club.
“We get quite busy. In terms of numbers, they’re from all over Australia; we’ve got country members and that type of thing as well. We’ve got about 8,000 members that have access to this facility,” explains Leah, who manages all the operations.
The gym caters to people of all ages and offers rehabilitation, group fitness, functional training areas, stretching areas, change rooms, and a child minding service. Members also get access to select pools around Sydney, tennis courts at Cooper Park and squash courts at Bondi.
The building Stadium Club moved into used to be occupied by Centennial Health Club. Stadium and Centennial merged allowing existing Centennial members (which includes many employees in EQ) to continue using the facility. This has given Leah the chance to meet some of the locals, something she didn’t have an opportunity to do when Stadium Club was located in the football stadium complex.
“When I was up there I never came down here, to be honest. I mean, there was no need. We had Azure Cafe (who moved with us). We had everything we needed there so there was no need to come down here. I didn’t even know about market day or anything like that. So, yeah, it’s a real difference. You feel more involved in the public here, whereas over there it was quite private, you were behind closed doors and only members got access.”
Leah has been with Stadium Club – which is now under the Sydney Cricket Ground Trust – for seven years. She has been in the fitness industry her whole life. While at uni studying for a Bachelor of Sports Management degree, she worked as a personal trainer/ group fitness instructor. After graduating, she worked at Fernwood Fitness where she learnt a lot about the business side of things. She then managed the gym at North Sydney Olympic Pool before getting the role with Stadium Club.
“Currently, my main agenda is to open the new club over at the new football stadium next year,” says Leah when asked about her future goals. The new club promises to have leading edge facilities and be a comfortable, functional, aesthetically pleasing space for members.
Meanwhile, Leah is enjoying the variety of offerings and pleasant ambience of her temporary workplace in EQ, singling out the Wednesday market as one of her favourite things.
“I like the vibe. I mean, I always go over and have a look at what there is. I love the flower stall, I love the food offerings, and just the vibe, you know, lots of young children go in there. You see all the mums with their prams and that type of thing. Yeah, it’s just really nice.”
Having had a baby boy herself last year, Leah loves the fact that EQ is so family friendly, and is keen to explore some of the kid’s activities.
“I think it’s a safe place; there’s not too many people. It’s not like the Easter Show where it’s really crowded and that type of thing – it’s kind of a safe space. It’s a really good set up … the market over there with the shade and area for them to run around…everything’s fairly flat. It’s not too busy but busy enough for it to have a little bit of a feel about it.”