Reflecting on the Fuel Summit 2023

The 2023 Fuel Women’s Fitness Business Summit was held on 27th April at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney. The event was sold out weeks prior and the good vibes were flowing in the room, with a strong undercurrent of friendship, encouragement, and excitement. With the relaunch of What’s New in Fitness still in its infancy, I decided to grab myself an early bird ticket and soak up as much as I could from this opportunity!

The 2023 Fuel Womens Fitness Business Summit

This year’s theme was Innovation, Failure, Success, and aimed to celebrate the way we move through perceived failures to ultimately achieve our goals, rather than being knocked down and giving up. Fuel Summit organisers Alisha Smith and Deb Goldberg created an engaging and inspiring line-up of speakers for the day, with attendees shedding both laughter and tears.

fuel summit 2023

Photograph courtesy of Candice Epthorp

Guest speakers brought both integrity and wisdom

Guests enjoyed presentations from industry icons including Fernwood Founder Diana Williams, Les Mills Program Director Rachel Newsham, and even a visit from the owner of IDEA Health and Fitness, Amy Boone-Thompson. These women openly shared their journeys with the crowd, who were able to draw nuggets of wisdom from their decades of experience in the fitness industry.

Against the spectacular backdrop of the Harbour Bridge, sales expert Abbie White gave an insightful presentation on the future of sales and marketing, (SMARKETING) and we enjoyed a thought-provoking talk from Michell Furniss, the General manager at True Coach by XPlor. Michelle described her experience growing up as a racially diverse child in a very Anglo-Saxon Australia and then how she had seen first-hand the importance of diversity in teams and workplaces. Michelle was open and vulnerable, retelling how she had, as a manager, failed to recognise cultural differences among her own team in the past, and how she had learned from that and used those learnings to be a better leader and team member.

fuel business summit 2023

Photograph courtesy of Candice Epthorp

fuel womens summit 2023

Photograph courtesy of Candice Epthorp

Guest presenters also included group fitness instructor Kathy Johnsun, whose talk on “The Unexpected Joys of Training the Elderly” took us on an emotional rollercoaster, but was told with such candid openness that it was the highlight for me, personally. We also got to hear from Gympie gym and recovery centre owner, Fiona Keable about how she has created an inclusive community, not only for the diversity she has within her own membership but also for how she is building relationships with other business owners in the area.

Photograph courtesy of Candice Epthorp

There were several other guest speakers on the stage throughout the day, plus a Q&A Panel, and the entire event was warmly MC’d by PT Academy’s Melony Dos Remedios. As the sun set over Sydney Harbour and the number of discarded heels grew under the tables, friendships were made and emails exchanged. Kelly Weideman from Evolt was presented with the Fuel Woman of the Year 2023 Award and some kind of weird dance competition erupted in the shameless bid to win free goodies thanks to the event sponsors!

It was a thoroughly enjoyable day for me, and as you can tell from these photos, for everyone in attendance. I’ll certainly be keen to attend again next year. In the meantime, I’m looking forward to the FitHer Expo in Sydney this October. The first of its kind, the FitHer Expo is the largest and only consumer-focused event for women in Australia to elevate, inspire and connect. Hopefully, I’ll see you there!

fuel summit sydney

Photograph courtesy of Candice Epthorp

fuel woman of the year 2023

Photograph courtesy of Candice Epthorp

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