“My personal time is at 5:30 in the morning – going to the gym and doing my own thing. Then the family day begins.”
Tenille Cooper is an active mum. Very active! Her two young boys keep her busy, and she loves it that way. Tenille, her husband Gavin, three-year-old Archie and one-year-old Reggie have been Townsville locals for about eight years now.
“When I was growing up, my dad was a marathon runner and triathlete and he’s still very active. For my sister and me, being active just kind of stuck with us. We run, we go to the gym…when it’s instilled in you from childhood, it just flows into adulthood.”
Before she married Gavin, a player with rugby league football club, the North Queensland Cowboys, Tenille was a professional dancer with Walt Disney for many years. She then went on to be a children’s dance teacher and personal trainer.
After becoming a mum, she was passionate that her boys learn the importance of being active, fit and healthy, but found the options for younger children were quite limited where they lived.
Together with business partner and schoolteacher Hayley Allen, they created Sporty Kids Australia in 2016 to provide specialised fitness and movement classes catering for babies, toddlers and children.
If you start active, you stay active
“The intention is to provide a place where parents and kids from an early age can be active and grow together. It’s about leading by example.”
“It’s satisfying helping hundreds of kids, from four months to eight years old keep fit and active. Seeing the mums and dads keep coming back is so rewarding.”
A long road to parenthood
Becoming parents was a very long road for Tenille and husband Gavin, who even with the assistance of IVF, had to wait many years to become parents.
While running Sporty Kids takes time, Tenille always prioritises her boys, and embraces the challenges of motherhood, even the “threenage stage that no one tells you about”.
“I find it all a challenge, and being an older parent I do find strategies to cope with different things…it’s all a bit of an uphill battle but I love it.”
Things are made more difficult with Gavin often away due to his playing commitments.
“It’s a very tricky thing to parent on your own… At the end of the day, there are great moments and the not so great – we take it all in our stride.”
Tenille’s Mother’s Day is typically very low-key, and, no surprises, involves a healthy activity.
“If Gavin is at home we’ll celebrate with breakfast out somewhere. We like to get up and get the boys out of the house – so we’ll grab a takeaway coffee and get out the scooters.”
And if life wasn't busy enough, earlier this year, Tenille and Gavin started a new business venutre helping to spread the word about the benefits of an all-round healthy lifestyle.
The couple sees it as a great fit with Sporty Kids Australia in helping to spread the word about the benefits of an all-round healthy lifestyle.
About: 'Those who mum' series
Meet 40 women across Australia, from as far as Cairns in North Queensland to Baldivis in Western Australia, as part of a 40-part editorial and portrait series that celebrates the faces of women and mums from across Australia.