When exercise physiology runs in the family
Reflecting on 30 years of ESSA sees us reminisce on the growth of exercise physiology in Australia.
Richard Turnbull has been working within the industry, both in Australia and originally South Africa, since the late 80s and has seen how the industry has grown from the early beginnings.
Matthew Turnbull became an Accredited Exercise Physiologist in the late 2000s. He has worked as both an Exercise Physiologist and Physiotherapist within clinics as well as in high-level sports, witnessing how the industry has continued to change.
As you may have noticed by the surnames, Richard and Matthew are one of only a few father and son duos within the ESSA membership, perfectly capturing how ESSA and the industry has grown. In this story, Richard and Matthew share all about their decorated careers, what working with family is really like, and the growth of our industry.
I initially went into teaching for two years before completing a double honours degree in Biokinetics and Sports Science and later a Masters in Sports Science. I then joined the mines as Senior Sports Administrator before moving onto the University of Natal in Pietermaritzburg. While at university (1987) and employed as Senior Sports Administrator, I was allowed, on a part-time basis, to establish a private biokinetic (exercise physiology) practice. I have been in the industry ever since both as an accredited Biokineticist in South Africa and Exercise Physiologist in Australia. The practice in South Africa grew fast, producing successful outcomes and during 1995, I received the National Biokinetics Merit Award for the Advancement of the Biokinetic Practice in South Africa. More recently in 2020, I was awarded an ESSA Fellowship for my commitment to the industry.
I also have a keen interest in coaching and completed a Level 5 Athletic Coaching accreditation and a Level 4 Rugby Union Coaching accreditation both in South Africa and Australia. I have been a biokineticist (exercise physiologist) and strength and conditioning coach for three national sporting teams and one of two national athletic coaches. Over the years, commencing in 1979 to date, I have been very fortunate to have coached many athletes to national and international level; one to a world record.
In 2016, I was inducted into the South African Athletics Coaches Hall of Fame. It was certainly a surprise as I was given the award many years after my best coaching achievements but apparently for some reason my name resurfaced, and I had met all the criteria. I do feel very honoured.