Nine Parkes Physie Club girls are off to perform in Sydney as the Australian sports movement, Physical Culture, celebrates 125 years since its inception.
Ella Harbidge, Matayah Guy, Elly Thornberry, Savannah Ross, Nina Gaut, Meika Lovett, Sarah Macaulay, Melaney Smede and Kim Orr will join 2000 performers to showcase their unique sport at the Qudos Bank Arena for the BJP 125 Year Spectacular on June 24.
Parkes Physie teachers Amy Thornberry and Heidi Ehsman are also attending, as part of the production and support team.
Parkes Physie Club was founded in 1980, with around 75 girls and ladies currently attending classes each week.
Physical Culture - or Physie as it's affectionately known - has certainly stood the test of time.
The sport was set up before Australia was federated and before the Australian Navy existed.
Its rich history includes the use of the Prince of Wales’ (Edward VIII) feathers as an emblem in 1920, to being part of the opening ceremony for the Sydney Olympic Games in 2000.
Physie’s motto is ‘empowering girls for life’ and is a fusion of dance and sport for girls and women, from ages 3 to 73, across Australia.
Jackie Rawlings, Managing Director of Physical Culture says she’s incredibly proud of the work that thousands of volunteers have put in over 125 years to create such an important legacy for the country, however, she’s increasingly concerned about the pressures young women are under.
“Physie aims to empower girls and we do that in a number of ways,” Jackie said.
“We prioritise the development of self-esteem in our students. We teach them to have a positive relationship with their bodies and help them blossom with confidence and self-assurance.”
The sport’s origins are in Hobart in 1892, when a Danish man from an athletic family decided to teach Australians what Scandinavians were doing to stay fit in mind and body.
Through the decades the activity has touched the lives of hundreds of thousands of Australian families and has evolved to incorporate yoga moves, contemporary movement and a focus on girls and women, where initially it was a mixed sport.
The activity continues to grow.
In the last five years the number of clubs has increased by 30 per cent and new clubs have recently sprouted up in London and Bali.
“The reason we think Physie has withstood the test of the time is the supportive and nurturing community and the fact that generations of women can participate and compete together,” Jackie said.
“It is not uncommon for grandmothers, mothers, daughters and grand-daughters to be members of the same club and share their involvement.”
To secure tickets for the BJP 125 Year Spectacular go to premier.ticketek.com.au/shows/show.aspx?sh=PHYSIE17
To find your nearest Physie class go to physicalculture.com.au/find-a-club/.
Physical Culture Empowering Girls for Life
Physie is a fusion of dance and sport for girls and women of all ages across Australia.
More than a sport, Physie is a welcoming community of fun, healthy, active families.
Local Physie clubs are run by dedicated teachers who provide classes for all ages and abilities from pre-schoolers to ladies.
Fun, upbeat, pop music is the soundtrack to a sport that fuses dance styles such as jazz, ballet, hip hop, contemporary, aerobic dance and even yoga!