Community fitness champion welcomes new members

A person standing amongst gym equipment holding a yellow ball.

Boost your physical and mental wellbeing in the welcoming surrounds of your local recreation centre, supported by staff who love what they do. 

Bill Mooney ran a landscaping business for many years before deciding to become a gym instructor. He was a recreation centre member and always thought the instructors had the best job in the world. 

His career change was a plan for what to do in retirement, yet Bill is hardly taking it easy. Today, he’s just stepped out of a fitness class, where he can never resist joining in with the exercise. 

‘I spend my days running classes like high-intensity interval training, stadium circuit sessions and prime fitness classes for our energetic members aged 60 plus,’ Bill said. 

‘I also show potential members the gym and write programs for people to help them achieve their goals. Someone might want to run 5kms, and another might want to hike in Machu Picchu with ease.  

‘It’s such a feel-good time when we see people achieve their goals. We are as excited as they are. The staff members here are also really great. We all help each other out. I feel like I’m living the dream.’ 

Even if you have never been to a gym before, Bill welcomes you to drop by for a tour of North Melbourne Recreation Centre, where he works, or any of our City of Melbourne recreation centres. 

‘We understand some people might feel intimidated at first, so we try to make them feel comfortable. Plus, because we’re a community gym, we attract people of all fitness levels and experience, so everyone fits in,’ Bill said. 

‘Membership is good value and we have great facilities: pools, exercise rooms, an oval, a synthetic outdoor play area, a stadium, and a fantastically equipped gym that’s always staffed, so you really get looked after.’  

We offer best-practice classes and fitness programs for people of all ages and abilities across the City of Melbourne’s recreation centres, to empower local people and promote community connection. 

The classes include our particularly popular prime fitness program for older people, who often arrange social activities outside of their classes 

‘Fitness is a continuous journey,’ Bill said. 

‘Ultimately, our job is trying to improve people’s lives and this isn’t just a physical thing, it’s a social thing. It’s great to see people who train together becoming friends and going out for coffee.’ 

Did you know

North Melbourne Recreation Centre is co-located with North Melbourne Football Club and The Huddle, which offers after-school English programs and basketball program for diverse young people. 

During lockdowns, Bill’s team was redeployed to various roles, including supporting our park rangers. 

‘We were lucky to spend days in green spaces like the Tan Track, Fawkner Park, Carlton Gardens, and Princes Park reporting any damage, and reminding people to leash their dogs and socially distance,’ Bill said.  

‘It was great to meet new people and be outdoors. I felt very fortunate, but it’s great to be back in the gym now.’ 

To find out more about our recreation centres and plan your new fitness routine, visit Active Melbourne.  

Recreation centre locations

Carlton Baths, 216/248 Rathdowne Street, Carlton
Melbourne City Baths, 420 Swanston Street, Melbourne
North Melbourne Recreation Centre, 204-206 Arden Street, North Melbourne
North Melbourne Community Centre, 49-53 Buncle Street, North Melbourne
Kensington Community Recreation Centre, corner of Kensington Road and Altona Street, Kensington (currently closed for redevelopment)

Share this story

You may also like
Social investment grants create lasting change

Social investment grants create lasting change

Create lasting social change and help build equitable neighbourhoods with funding from our Social Investment Partnerships Program. Grant applications are open until 6 February. We award social investment grants to non-profits, social enterprises and B Corporations...

Supporting families of trans and gender diverse people

Supporting families of trans and gender diverse people

Melbourne Award winning peer support group, Transfamily, is leading conversations that help the family and friends of trans or gender diverse people by providing a safe, welcoming space for them as their loved one transitions. Supporting loved ones who are trans or...

12 ways to expand your mind in Melbourne

12 ways to expand your mind in Melbourne

Become a pro at basket-weaving, car maintenance and business skills in your neighbourhood, in a city where learning opportunities abound. Here are 12 ways to learn in the City of Melbourne. 1. For all Melburnians Deepen your understanding of Aboriginal culture and...

Eight ways to feel welcome in Melbourne

Eight ways to feel welcome in Melbourne

Discover a new sense of belonging in Melbourne this year – in a city where everyone is welcome and anything is possible. The City of Melbourne is home to people from 160 cultural backgrounds, who speak 150 languages and practise 80 faiths. The city has a magnetism...

Subscribe to our newsletter

Keep up with what's happening in the City of Melbourne by subscribing to the Melbourne newsletter.

You have successfully subscribed!