Celebrating International Men’s Day with Exercise & Sports Science Role Models

Today is International Men’s Day, a global day to celebrate the positive value men bring to the world, their families and communities. Today is also a chance for Exercise & Sports Science Australia (ESSA) to highlight “Men Leading by Example” and those who act as positive role models within the exercise and sports science industry.

“As an association that represents over 8,000 professionals, with almost 50% being male, we think it’s important to take the time on International Men’s Day to highlight the positive male role models we have in our industry,” says Dr Kade Davison, President of ESSA’s National Board.

In light of this, ESSA has recognised five men as ‘Role Models in Exercise & Sports Science’, as nominated by their peers, who are leading by example within their respective fields and the greater industry.

The 2019 Role Models in Exercise & Sports Science are:
  • Distinguished Professor Aaron Coutts – Aaron is a sports science industry legend who played a key role in ESSA’s sports science and high performance accreditation.
  • Dr Simon Rosenbaum – Simon is a dedicated mental health and exercise expert and researcher, both within Australia and internationally.
  • Mr Adrian Sexton – Adrian is a men’s mental health advocate and an orthopaedic rehabilitative Accredited Exercise Physiologist for the amputee population.
  • Mr Jason Gardner – Jason is a mentor for students as well as passionate Accredited Exercise Physiologist working in the prostate cancer field.
  • Mr Ray Kelly – Ray is a dedicated Accredited Exercise Physiologist within the Aboriginal communities who is reversing diabetes in high need populations.

“These men are working to inspire the next generation of exercise and sports science professionals that are coming through, both male and female, and are also true champions for the role of exercise and sport science in maintaining men’s health and well-being at all stages of life.”

A key focus of International Men’s Day is promoting the importance of men supporting each other. Today is a great opportunity for these industry leaders to share their insights with both exercise and sports science professionals and the wider community.

“My life changed once I realised that failure is an important part of success. In my younger years I would be afraid to try new things, or reach too far, through fear of failing. Now, I know I will fail at times, but accepting that allows me to think of all the ways I might fail and plan for those in advance,” explains Ray Kelly.

Jason adds that the best piece of advice given to him is one that he regularly shares with his colleagues – never stop learning.

“The moment you think you know enough is the moment you lose the opportunity to grow. As you keep learning, use your knowledge, skills and influence to help others, particularly those who may not have the same privilege that you do. Strive to leave the world a better place than when you found it.”

Physical activity also plays an important role in supporting men to live longer and healthier by benefiting both their physical and mental health. With men having a lower life expectancy than women, and are at a higher risk of taking their own life, we want Australian men to start prioritising their health and to find time to move.

When it comes to why men should exercise, here are what some of our role models had to say:
  • “Exercise is a vital ingredient for health and happiness. I am lucky enough to see the benefits of exercise for men’s health every day in my clinical work in men with prostate cancer.” – Jason
  • “Exercise is Prevention! While it is well established that Exercise is Medicine, I think focusing on prevention of health conditions such as type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular conditions, respiratory conditions, prostate cancer and mental health conditions through regular exercise makes far more sense than just using exercise to treat these conditions should they arise.” – Adrian
  • “We are in a time where chronic disease and mental health dominate our lives and research shows that the answer to both is regular exercise. We don’t need bulging muscles and rippling abs, just a healthy body and mind. If you are stuck for time, just walk!” – Ray
  • “We often have busy lives with many competing commitments. However, the benefits of exercise – both physical and psychological – are too big to ignore. Regular exercise builds physical and psychological resilience that allows men be more productive at work and at home. Finding ways to find 30-45 minutes to be active should be a priority for all men.” – Aaron

For more information on International Men’s Day, please click here.

To find out more about how to Exercise Right for men’s health, please visit the Exercise Right website.