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Cheers to feeling ‘like family’ at One Tribe Health & Fitness


They meet most days at the Wickham address to exercise and keep their bodies young and fit, but what they get from these classes is so much more than a workout. 

Since they started stretching, reaching, bending, lifting and flexing together, which for some was almost five years ago, this group of mid-morning exercisers have become more like family members than gym buddies. 

Sharing special occasions, like weddings and birthdays, as well as photos of overseas trips and motor home purchase plans, this now tight-knit outfit is coincidently living up to the name of the business in which they regularly meet – One Tribe. 

One Tribe Health & Fitness, Wickham.

The health and fitness centre on Hannell Street is a bright, clean and airy space with state-of-the-art equipment, on-site physiotherapists, an infared sauna, ice bath, cafe and even a much-loved Blue Heeler named Ciri. 

In its marketing, it promises to be a safe and inclusive space for all ages, sizes and shapes. 

For the crew that train daily at the facility at 10am, the address offers a chance to work on the whole body, as well as so much more.

Attracting both young mums and retirees, many from professional backgrounds, the class interactions are encouraging and positive.

“As we get older, I think the appeal is just staying fit for your age,” says 70-year-old Marilyn. 

“I work as well, and I just want to keep fit.  

“I want to be able to do all the things I want to, and I can with these classes because it is targeted each day and by the end of the week it has done the whole body. 

“That’s why I come every day.”

But, Marilyn admits its not just about the workout. 

“The program is good and the camaraderie is wonderful. 

“And, then on Thursdays there’s champagne.” 

Once a week, on a Thursday, the group stay behind after class to enjoy champagne, nibbles and a catch up. 

They each take turns in bringing the bubbles. 

“I’m away next week, so I brought the champagne today,” says Marilyn, who seems disappointed at the prospect of missing a few days of training. 

“I’ve hated gyms all my life,” she says. 

“This is the first one I’ve ever belonged to. 

“It’s so friendly and supportive, this group has almost become like family.

“I’ve always been fairly motivated to stay fit, but having a group that supports you to do that is just fabulous.” 

Valerie agrees. 

Her first visit to One Tribe was for a physiotherapy appointment. 

Living in the Hunter Valley, she had no intentions of joining a Newcastle-based gym. 

“While I was here, the physio (Phil) suggested I do some workouts because I used to do a lot of gym work in my thirties,” she said. 

“Believe it or not I used to do bodybuilding. 

“I didn’t know whether I’d have it in me anymore, but I gave it a try.” 

Years later Valerie has regained a strong physique and is looking to move closer to her gym and “tribe”. 

“The thing with this place is we’re all friends but we don’t know one another from before. We met here and we’ve become a group that chats to one another and solves the problems of the world,” she jokes. 

“It’s a really great gym and I’ve been to a few.” 

Coordination, posture, strength and mental exercise is gained at the daily classes, and despite their strong bond, this group is always happy to welcome a new face. 

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