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Canberra Mums Exercise Group: Join the sisterhood!

Michelle Swadling

The first thing that strikes me about Facebook group Canberra Mums Exercise Group (CMEG) is the sense of sisterhood.

This is a large group of over THREE THOUSAND (and growing!) Mums that provides a busy weekly timetable of baby-friendly exercise classes and walks, with little or no cost.

CMEG is a supportive and encouraging community, with no room for ego. This is Mums helping Mums, without competition or cliques.

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CMEG is run by a dedicated administration team, consisting of Jennelle McAppion, Angela Cheung, Nicole Cummins and Becky Hope. Jennelle first founded the group when she sought out other Canberra Mums to join her and her newborn triplets for weekly walks.

“I was looking to get healthy post the birth of the boys,” says Jennelle. A Facebook group was created, and the evolution of CMEG began.

At present, the timetable currently hosts almost forty events a week, including boot camps, yoga, Aqua Exercise classes, baby-wearing classes and various other classes.

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Weekends are dedicated to family walking activities. This list is growing, as the administrators welcome new ideas and suggestions from CMEG members.

A true sign of the community spirit within CMEG is reflected by the Walk for Tara event held in March this year. Local Canberra Mum Tara Costigan was killed by her ex-partner in February. Tara had joined CMEG just days before.

After Tara’s death, Jennelle approached the CMEG Facebook page. “I said how about we do a walk within the group, throw a bucket around and raise a bit of money for the family.” The event exceeded expectations, with over 4,000 Canberrans taking part to celebrate the life of Tara and speak out against domestic violence. The Lake Burley-Griffin walk is now set to become an annual event.

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As the group continues to grow with new members every day, the CMEG administrators hope to encourage Mums of ALL ages to join.

This isn’t just for Mums with young babies. This is for all Mothers (and Grandmothers!) at every stage of life. Administrator Jennelle urges “anyone who is a Mum and lives in Canberra, we want you in the group!”

Sponsorship is another area CMEG hopes to gain support. Currently with over 3,200 members and growing, CMEG can provide local businesses with the opportunity to reach a large and loyal audience, whilst also helping the group to purchase equipment and fund Public Liability Insurance.

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Whilst a healthy lifestyle is the main priority for the group, CMEG offers many other benefits. Administrator Becky says, “This is about reducing isolation, helping Mums get of the house and connecting with other Mums”.

For those who haven’t joined, or members who have joined but are yet to attend an event, I encourage you to step outside your comfort zone. This is a friendly group of Mums who immediately make you feel at ease. They love new members and are very welcoming.

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I think the CMEG motto says it all- “We’ve given birth, we can do anything.”

To find out more, visit the Facebook group or email [email protected].

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Michelle Swadling

Michelle worked in radio before moving to Canberra several years ago. She loves the opportunities the city offers, whilst still having that "country town feel". Michelle's life is a whirlwind of full time work, studying and raising two active little boys with her husband. More about the Author

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