Justin Shaw, customer service team,SportUNE

Team Highlight, Justin Shaw

Meet Justin, one of our fantastic CST (Customer Service Team) additions of 2021. If you haven’t met him yet, he is a bit of a character, very funny, and extremely passionate about fitness. Trust me, if you haven’t done a challenge yet – he will ask you to!

Originally from Narrabri, Justin moved here for University in 2015, studying a Bachelor of Science in Physiology and Psychology.  He also has a  CERT III and IV in Fitness, which is pretty awesome for you if you need some advice when visiting our facilities!

We stole a few moments of his time to find out a little bit more…

Where did you get your passion for the fitness industry?

I tore a disc in my hip when I was 15 and was told “not to walk for 12 months”. Being 15, I assumed that was just advisory… so I started working with my physio to rehabilitate the injury because I really wanted to compete at state athletics trials in about 5 months’ time…

The time I spent working with the physio was what really set my path into health and fitness. Since then I have spent time coaching athletes and teams, which has only reaffirmed my decision to pursue this career path.

What attracted you to working at SportUNE?

When I first started at UNE I got a gym membership here, I remember thinking “this is the coolest and biggest gym I’ve ever been in” and all the facilities made it such an awesome place to be as someone who loves sport and exercise. Ever since then I really wanted a job here.

…flash forward to 2021

I was packing up my flat to move into another house, and being a gamer, the very very last thing I wanted to pack was my pc. The morning we were finishing up packing I went to close down my pc and went to close google chrome… I had Seek open. I decided to have a quick scroll, as we were going on holiday the next day and I was looking for a job. I saw one from SportUNE and immediately hit apply without reading the description just because I have always wanted to work here since coming to Armidale.

I then packed my pc and thought nothing of it. About 2 weeks later I got an email asking if I could come in for an interview, since I was travelling I nominated to do it by phone. We then crossed into QLD and completely forgot about the time difference, so when Ben Bible (UNE Life’s General Manager – who was conducting the interviews for SportUNE) called for the interview, I saw that it was an unsaved number and said to my partner “I don’t know this person and I’m trying to focus on an interview, I have in exactly 1 hour”.

That’s when I realised that we were 1 hour behind and I immediately hit redial even though we were on a back road in the middle of nowhere desperately trying to find a place with phone reception. When Ben explained the position to me I knew I had to get this job, and thankfully that’s what happened.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Hopefully still employed with SportUNE, with more experience and responsibilities.

How long have you worked in the fitness industry?

I’ve been training and coaching individuals and teams since I was 16. I have also got my CERT III and IV in Fitness, so it feels like a while, but its certainly not even close to over!

What’s something you love about your job and why?

Every day is different, it keeps you on your toes. And the team down and sport and up at UNE Life are all great people. It’s a fun place to work.

A regular day at sport is manning the front desk, filing membership forms, and the court set up. You get to see all the regulars and hopefully meet some new ones, which is always fun. There are many duties we cover in our roles as CST, we talk to members and guests, man the cafe, there’s always something different happening like cleaning the pool or helping move equipment, setting up events or creating challenges for members to try, or refurbishing spin bikes, the list is endless really!

The fitness industry can be a little intense at times – What’s one thing that helps you relax outside of work?

Not exactly out of the office, but I find a good gym session relaxing. When I go home though I’m either cooking, eating, or gaming, oh and I also play guitar!

Is there a person who you admire or inspires you?

I’ve gotta say, my parents. The sacrifices they made to ensure I could play all the sport I wanted and compete at the level I wanted I probably still don’t know the extent of. They always supported and never pushed. My mum made sure I had the right gear to do what I wanted to do and made sure I ate well and didn’t fall apart from all the scrapes and bruises. My dad was my coach in every sport I’ve played and I’ve done ok in most of them. He taught me that a real coach teaches you how to coach yourself. This is a lesson I have tried to pass on to all the people I’ve coached and trained.

Well, that’s far sweeter than we were expecting! How lovely, and thank you so much for spending some time chatting with us, Justin. We’re really enjoying having you as a part of our team! 


Group Fitness is back! Checked out the timetable!