At age 80, Judith McKenzie has recently retired from her role with Resthaven, in which she delivered weekly Keep Fit/ChiBall classes to Resthaven Paradise and Eastern Community Services clients for 21 years.
‘As a ChiBall teacher and Master Trainer, I’ve dedicated much of my later life to promoting the importance of health and wellbeing,’ Judith explains. ‘Now that I’ve just turned 80, it’s the right time to focus more on my family and my interest in art.’
Judith’s career with Resthaven started in 2001 after she retired as a school teacher from Norwood Morialta High School.
‘The Principal, Sue McMillan, learned of my interests in teaching general fitness classes and suggested to apply at Resthaven, as she knew that the previous fitness instructor had retired.’
‘I applied without exactly knowing what I was in for… little did I expect to be working with Resthaven for 21 years!’
Judith’s popular ChiBall program presented a collaboration of Tai Chi-Qi Gong, dance, yoga, Pilates, relaxation, and meditation. She shaped the choreography of the classes around the themes of the seasons.
‘The more I learned about participants’ needs, my classes evolved. I liked to call my class the “gentle moves version of ChiBall”!’
‘As we get older, it becomes more difficult to feel pleasure in movement. So, it was very important for me to change the mindset of older people by promoting ease of movement, and the sense of being graceful.’
A career highlight for Judith was in 2014, when she received a Physical Activity Award from the Council on the Ageing (COTA) for her contributions to physical activity.
‘Getting older is part and parcel of life, so I can only hope that my classes have had a lasting impact on the physical wellbeing of all my participants.’
Judith can still be found teaching ChiBall classes at the Campbelltown Community Club on Mondays and Fridays.
Thank you for your important and beloved service, Judith!
For more information about Resthaven Paradise & Eastern Community Services, click here.