Deb announced she was leaving Y Striders immediately before the Christmas shut down giving us only the briefest opportunity to thank her after her final Wednesday strength session. The Committee agreed that the whole Club had not sufficiently recognised Deb’s tremendous contribution to the Club over her 10 years at the training helm.
Among Deb’s notable contributions and achievements have been:
• Interviewing, inducting and mentoring every other trainer who has come and gone during her time with the club
• Actively encouraged all members, as well as trainers, to attend the annual Anne Rinadli Fun Run/Walk.
• The instigation of our Pre- Exercise Screening form to ensure the safety of new member recruits.
• The encouragement of guest speakers to attend the club
• Oversight of light-hearted ‘weight loss’ programs
• Motivating and competitive ‘End of Year Challenges’
• Fun entertainment of Christmas Zumba sessions.
• The establishment of beach’ exercise for the 8am Wednesday sessions in hot weather
• The introduction of half a dozen offsite sessions throughout the year, at various suburban locations
• A legacy of varied strength and conditioning programs in digital format for the benefit of our young trainers
• The institution of strength training as an optional extra to walking or running, as she considered it essential that we all stay strong as we age. It should be noted that these strength sessions, which were always varied, interesting and fun, now regularly have 30-35 people attending and the numbers just keep on increasing.
In 2020, the COVID year, Deb was instrumental in devising solutions to keep the club’s exercises going when the Club suspended and later restricted its operation. She created quality videos for warm ups and cool downs which members could access at any time. She forwarded exercise plans and encouragement to the members who requested it. But best of all, each week she hosted zoom sessions from her own home, reaching out to our members so that they could continue to do the familiar routines in the safety of their own homes. As one member commented:
‘There were some who found the setting up of zoom hard to do, but they were gently guided through the process by Deb. Importantly, Deb allowed these zoom sessions to continue long after the exercises had finished. Members were able to laugh, chat and feel less isolated – they even had virtual coffee meetups. This selflessness on Deb’s part goes a long way to explaining the high esteem with which she held the Y Striders club.’
Deb’s unique style as a trainer was to value every person’s contribution (or limitation) regardless of their age or ability, with light hearted humour and grace.
RESOLUTION BY COMMTTEE
To recognise Deb Ruggiero for her years of valued service to Y Striders, the Committee, at its first meeting of the year, resolved that Deb is to be given a two-year Honorary Membership of the Club that will allow her to receive all Club communications as a way of smoothing the transition to life after Striders.
As well, the Committee decided to more tangibly recognise Deb’s contribution in the form of a gift,
Christine Hutcheon to explain:
1. A Two Year Honorary Membership of Y Striders
2. A Gift Voucher to be used at Red Balloon experiences.
3. A card signed by Y Striders.
As a valued Y Striders Fitness Trainer we are sorry to see you go. During the ten years you were with Y Striders, you provided the club much needed stability by being the club’s longest serving trainer. Your unique style was to value every member’s contribution with light hearted humour and grace, regardless of their age or ability.
The club now enjoys many activities introduced by you – beach sessions, offsite sessions, music, coffee mornings and end of year challenges, just to name a few. You recognised that everyone needs to stay strong as we age and that walking and running were not enough – you introduced highly engaging strength exercises which have a member attendance that just keeps rising. The true reflection of the high esteem with which you held Y Striders was evident during the 2020 COVID lockdown. You kept the club’s members fit and connected with your exceptional contribution.
The committee and all of the members wish you (and Andy) well for your future endeavours. We hope that you will take advantage of the Honorary Membership to become one of us! We’d love to see you back at the club.
Thank you for all that you have done.
From all at Y Striders.