The idea came from Shaun Nortjie, who studied exercise science and is a teaching assistant and tutor at the International Institute for Sport Science and Fitness Training (IIFT). Nortjie is currently studying psychology. He took the idea to his acquaintance Mellissa Mlambo, who is doing her honours in international relations and is also the chairperson of House Humanities. Together the dynamic duo brought the idea of Tuks Raw Fit to life.

“It’s not about where you are, but it’s about where you can be. We started this programme to get students aware of the benefits of an active lifestyle and how it will enhance not only their personal or professional lives but also their academic lives,” says Nortjie. The goals of Tuks Raw Fit include increasing health awareness, promoting healthy living for students and increasing community awareness of healthy living.

Tuks Raw Fit is a student initiative, which is run for students by students. Apart from Nortjie and Mlambo, the management team also consists of Jeanne-Michael du Plessis, Taryn Bornman and Marijke Benade.

With a crew comprising of students, Tuks Raw Fit offers a personal touch and students can engage in a hands-on, peer-based health and fitness training regime. The crew is very passionate and motivated to make students more aware of their lifestyle and are ready to work hard with the students to get the best results possible.

One of the biggest challenges Tuks Raw Fit faces is that they do not have enough trainers for the number of students who want to participate. Nortjie is the only trainer for Tuks Raw Fit at the moment. Biokinetics students cans use Tuks Raw Fit to clock in hours for their degree and also receive a letter of recommendation for their work.

The work done by the Tuks Raw Fit team is voluntary. If a student would like to become a trainer for Tuks Raw Fit they have to be second-year sport science students and will then receive further training from Nortjie.

On 22 February Tuks Raw Fit held their first training session of the year. The training sessions, more commonly known as bootcamp classes, due to their intensity, consist of three 50-minute sessions with the focus being on body weight exercises. Each session starts with a warm-up, followed by the workout and then the cool-down.

Tsepo Nkosi, a student who took part in the first bootcamp, said, “It was indeed a great bootcamp, there was a lot of sweat and pain but I can believe after every pain there is always a smile from my side, I am feeling rejuvenated, energetic and focused.” Basani Rikotso, another student who took part in the session, said, “I had so much fun even though I was in pain but it shows I was working out properly. No pain, no gain.”

Depending on weather conditions, the bootcamps take place on Hatfield campus in the Piazza, otherwise the sessions take place in the Ampitheatre. “Students who wish to participate can book online before the date and participate at their own risk,” says Nortjie.

Tuks Raw Fit is also looking into introducing an aerobics component and hopes to launch more bootcamp classes with a focus on abdominal stretching exercises as well as fun runs. “We would also like to involve the university personnel with their own separate training regimes in the future, as well as focusing on community wellness by encouraging maintenance staff to join as well,” said Nortjie.

The fee to join Tuks Raw Fit is R20 per semester.

Image provided