OUR town is filled to the brim with compassionate, kind, community-minded people.
News Of The Area spoke to Tony Gillespie, one of our recent Australia Day award winners.
Tony is our Australia Day Port Stephens Sportsperson of the Year.
Tony owns a Medowie Gym, Martial arts and Fitness centre called Imugi Fit, which also offers classes to disabled young people.
Tony began his martial arts journey at age seven, in 1986.
He connected immediately to the discipline, and enjoyed being trained by some of the very best martial artists in the country.
It was not until he started teaching that he truly felt at one with his training and what he could give back to others.
Tony told News Of The Area, “Giving back to others and seeing them succeed is what I love the most.”
“Passing on as much of my knowledge as possible is extremely satisfying.”
Tony has worked hard with his partner Kelly O’Brien to build a strong foundation for their business.
Tony felt honoured and humbled when the news was announced that he had won the Sportsperson Of The Year Award.
Tony told News Of The Area, “At first it didn’t seem real and I wasn’t emotionally connected to the moment.”
“I felt everyone who has helped me, nominated me, should have all been up there with me.”
Tony has big plans for his involvement in the community with future projects.
“I would like to see a tournament for those with a disability or an extended section for impaired people within an existing tournament, and I will be taking the steps to see that done,” he said.
Tony will continue to work with Endeavour Group Australia and other organisations to continue to raise awareness that anyone can participate in sport and fitness.
He, and his partner, Kelly, would also like to see their Martial Arts school become more successful in competition and develop a women’s self defence and awareness group.
Thank you for your contributions to our community, Tony.
By Rachael VAUGHAN