World champion fights for Indigenous health

Media release | 18 December 2017

World champion Indigenous kickboxer Nick Ariel and his wife, former Australian Jillaroo’s rugby league player Julie Ariel, are transforming the lives of Indigenous children with a new health and fitness program.

The NSW Government’s Business Connect service has helped the pair establish a breakthrough business that is making major positive inroads in the Indigenous community.

The Deputy Premier and Minister for Small Business John Barilaro said Nick and Julie started their business with a passion for healthy lifestyles, for men, women and children.

'This dynamic duo has set up the Whiplash Training Facility which, by providing guidance and opportunity, is bringing the community together,' he said.

Whiplash Training Facility

'Nick and Julie teach boxing, kickboxing and functional training classes with a focus on respect, self-worth, discipline and connection.

'These two are truly inspiring — not only in what they’ve achieved in the world of sport, but also what they’re delivering in skills training and personal development for indigenous children and the wider community,' Mr Barilaro said.

With the help of Business Connect advisors, Nick and Julie established their Botany gym as well as a not-for-profit ‘Whiplash Indigenous Corporation’ for people who can’t afford classes.

Nick, who grew up in Redfern and took up Kung Fu at 12, never expected to become a world champion kickboxer but worked his way to the title with a commitment to health and fitness.

Nick Ariel with his championship belts

'Becoming world champion was fantastic but what’s even more rewarding is I now have the chance to pass on what I’ve learned to help a new generation embrace health and fitness to succeed and break past cycles of alcohol or drug abuse,' Nick said.

'I’m working with young kids at the moment but I really want to also focus on the older ones — to be like a big brother and help them out of trouble. Eventually we’d like to open up more gyms and a national training program.'

Julie said the Business Connect advisor loved what Whiplash stood for and was enormously helpful in marketing the business and setting up its website.

'The business advisor taught us so many ways to promote our business going above and beyond what was expected. We want to help the Indigenous community but we also want to provide a place for people to feel safe and part of a family.'

Former Jillaroo Julie Ariel

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