Cam wears a lot of hats.
He is our co-founder, head trainer, committee president, a qualified tennis coach and freelance travel journalist. He has also battled bipolar depression since his late teens, and relies on exercise to boost his own mental health well-being.
We sat down with Cam to ask him a few questions about his story, and his plans for Mood Active.
Cam, tell us a little bit about yourself?
I was born and raised in Sydney, attended North Sydney Boys High. Since age five I’ve been mad keen on sports – rugby, then tennis, squash, body-surfing, scuba diving, skiing, touch rugby.
I’ve battled depression since my late teens, spoke to a psychologist or two, but it wasn’t until 2001 that I was diagnosed with Bi-polar (Type II) by Professor Gordon Parker at the Black Dog Institute (BDI) here in Sydney.
A freelance journo by trade (travel writer), have written for newspapers here and in the UK for 25 years. Fell into tennis coaching by accident in 2009, been coaching part-time ever since.
You started Mood Active back in 2013. How did it come about?
In 2011 I met Isabelle G-S via the BDI, we were both keen to do something in the world of exercise v depression; Isabelle because it was her area of academic work, me because exercise has so often been a life-saver. There were exercise physiologists doing one-to-one training with people living with mood disorders, we were the first to run group classes.
What’s the most rewarding part about your job with Mood Active?
The bio-chemical exercise mood lift is so reliable, and so easy to recognise in others, that I get to see the impact on peoples’ mood out on court every day. And to see people socialising who might otherwise be struggling to stay connected.
There must be challenges. What are the big ones?
Funding is an ongoing challenge, but one I think we’ll soon be better able to meet via more sponsor/partnerships. Keeping a reliable roster of trainers/venues.
Who is your favourite tennis player, past and present?
Roger Federer. Talent, desire, mental strength and phenomenal movement around the court. Boris Becker. Physical presence, confidence, huge serve volley game.
What are your future plans for Mood Active?
To grow in Sydney (east-inner city), establish more venues, then coach other exercise providers elsewhere in Australia on what we do and how we do it – to impact more people in more places. And to take a lead role in media on the subject of mental health and exercise.
Cam is our head trainer and runs Cardio Tennis classes out of our Kingsford location a few times a week. Check out the timetable here.