Looking for another reason to exercise? Marisa Branscombe met six people who met their best friend or life partner through fitness.

Marisa Branscombe met six people who met their best friend or life partner through fitness.



Liz Fletcher & Lynda Mackie, NSW
Liz Fletcher is a 32-year-old management consultant and Lynda is a 38-year-old financial controller. They met through ORIGINAL BOOTCAMP in Sydney three-and-a-half years ago and have been close friends ever since. They have the same approach to training, both being very competitive and liking the social and motivational aspects that group training brings.

Lynda and Liz train together at ORIGINAL BOOTCAMP three times a week, do a run or cardio session on Saturday mornings together and enjoy a lazy breakfast afterwards. Plus they enjoy movies, shopping and all the other girly things you would expect, which is pretty easy since they now live 50 metres from one another!

These amazingly fit ladies have pushed each other to enter and compete in numerous events, including the Sydney City to Surf on several occasions, the Mothers Day Classic and the Sydney Bridge Run. Liz says, “Lynda and I compliment each other in our running because I’m an endurance runner and she used to be a competitive sprinter. So I tend to set the pace and Lynda pushes us both harder at important points in races, which comes in especially handy close to the finish line!”

So why do the ladies find exercise such a great way to meet friends? “Exercising is when people tend to be their most natural. The group-based training is a real leveller where people work together, help, support and push each other,” says Liz. “In essence, these are some of the key qualities that maintain a solid and enduring friendship too”.

Jenelle Weatherstone & Benjamin Webster, NSW
Jen, a 31-year-old Chartered Accountant from Canberra, moved to Sydney in 2005. She met some great friends through the Canterbury Touch football club when arriving, but also ran into Ben, whom she had known for over 10 years through state touch football. Ben, a 32-year-old Store Manager at David Jones, never expected that running into Jen in his store one day would be the start of the rest of his life – the couple were married just last month!

Jen says with strong belief, “We would never have met each other outside of a sporting environment and I think the sporting bond has made us stronger in all aspects of our life.” As well as Ben and Jen having a mutual talent and love for touch football, they also compete in running events, triathlons and various other sporting events together. Plus, they take turns in setting and achieving goals by each competing in events, while the other supports.

Jen says, “I love seeing Ben reach his goals and vice versa. It’s what makes us the happiest”. With both being very competitive, it helps them do extra well in races. When they race at the same time they always make a little wager, where Ben gives Jen 10 per cent of his overall time. And guess what? In the recent Sydney running festival Jen got him, which gave her the right to be his Boss for the day.

They certainly are a dream team and power couple that cannot be stopped, not even on their wedding day. Ben and Jen got all of their guests to compete in a mini aquathon on the Saturday morning of their big day. With training and sport being such an integral part of their own and their closest friends’ lives, it was what their guests were most excited about. Sure they enjoyed the ceremony, but the prelude of water activities was the highlight of the day!

Gina Grayson-Cassey & Matt Cassey, WA
Gina, business owner ( and Matt, a state sales manager, are both 36 years old and enjoying their married life in Western Australia. They first met while training together for competitive running. Gina caught Matt’s eye and within a few weeks of running group they were going on a dinner date. They didn’t dive into a relationship straight away though. Gina took time to really get to know and appreciate some wonderful qualities that Matt showed her before they started their relationship.

What were those wonderful qualities that won Gina over? Gina says, “It was his healthy lifestyle, respect for his career, life goals, generosity, sense of humour and caring nature. These were all really appealing to me”. Gina admits she admires these qualities because she shares many herself, in particular the healthy lifestyle, plus competitiveness and commitment to training.

They’ve been married since 2004 and have a three-year-old son Tom and will have another little one any day now! Gina says, “We spent many years training together to achieve personal performance goals before getting married and having a family”. Gina and Matt respect and understand each other’s goals, achievements and healthy lifestyle, and this creates an important bond and a healthy relationship.

Gina went back to competitive athletics last year and Matt sacrificed work and his own fitness commitments to support her goals. She went on to win three Gold track medals, competed in her first-ever marathon and was ranked #1 open female WA distance athlete. Gina says, “It was satisfying and more enjoyable knowing it was a team effort”.

She knows she would not be married to Matt today if it weren’t for the sporting link. They may have met through mutual friends one day, but probably not at the right time. She feels fitness is such a unique way of meeting like-minded and compatible partners, commenting, “In a fitness environment people can be themselves and enjoy the activity they’re pursuing. It allows you to see people in a different, yet personal light in an environment where it’s easy to talk”.

So if you’re over kissing frogs to find your Prince Charming, or just want to meet a few new people, why not join a local bootcamp, running club or sporting team? Exercise provides a natural and friendly environment where people tend to be their true selves.  You’ll enjoy a good workout and a laugh and you just never know who you might meet!


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