The life of an elite athlete or coach, like those striving for success at the Victorian Insitute of Sport (VIS), requires a commitment that is often all consuming.
Apart from talent, the journey from playground to podium demands focus, discipline, tenacity, sacrifice and the support of a team prepared to give up just as much.
It is an existence that can be difficult to share, even with those closest to you.
Which is why the VIS Family Day last Friday was such a hit.
Athletes and staff took the opportunity to bring members of their families into the world class VIS facilities at Albert Park, a workplace unlike any other in Victoria.
To VIS Director of People and Community, Daniel Simons, the day was the VIS motto of “Success in Sport and Life” in action.
“The VIS is unmistakably a high-performance environment but maintaining a work life-balance is critical,” Simons said.
“A lot of our staff have young children and may also have to travel for work, so it’s about acknowledging their sacrifices by including their children and relatives in the experience they live.”
Dr Emily Meehan, a sports dietitian at the VIS, said as the mother of two young children, the VIS was an accommodating place to work.
“I feel really lucky to be working at the VIS. I always feel supported and that my family needs are met by management with understanding. If ever I need to start later or work from home, say if my child is sick, it’s never an issue,” Meehan said.
David Madigan, a VIS GM of High Performance, said initiatives like family day were great opportunities for staff and their families to build connections.
“My daughter loves coming into work with me. People welcome her, they know her name. To me it’s a reflection that staff show a lot of interest in each other.
“Staff are in and out of the office with a lot of different commitments, so events like this give us an opportunity to stay connected,” said Madigan.