Our Peo­ple - Fraser Steven­son

Born and bred in Mans­field, Fraser now runs Mans­field’s only ded­i­cated sports ap­parel and equip­ment store

Mansfield Courier - - FRONT PAGE - Weekly pro­file on our peo­ple by Courier jour­nal­ist Steve Vi­vian svi­vian@ ne­me­dia.com.au

FRASER Steven­son’s jour­ney as a sports lover be­gan when he started school and played ju­nior footy in Mans­field.

From there, Fraser played in the fourths, thirds, se­niors and was even se­lected in the first ever Mur­ray Bushrangers team.

But it was foot­ball that first led Fraser away from Mans­field, when he moved to Be­nalla to play in the Ovens and Mur­ray league for the side then known as the Be­nalla Demons.

Fraser then took his footy ca­reer up a notch, re­lo­cat­ing to West­ern Aus­tralia to play for West Perth in West­ern Aus­tralia’s premier foot­balling league, the WAFL.

It was here when Fraser be­came open to the idea of a ca­reer in fit­ness and health.

“When I went over to West Perth I was ex­posed to that real pro­fes­sion­al­ism in the footy club,” said Fraser.

“And that kind of got me in­ter­ested in fit­ness.”

Fraser then moved to Mel­bourne, where he un­der­took per­sonal train­ing cour­ses and landed a cor­po­rate gig with Flight Cen­tre.

“I worked with an in­ter­nal part of their busi­ness called Health Wise, which looked af­ter all their staff,” said Fraser.

“I was lucky enough to get a team leader role there, and I looked af­ter the per­sonal train­ers and masseuses.”

Fraser said Flight Cen­tre was one of the first com­pa­nies to put con­sid­er­able time and money into look­ing af­ter the phys­i­cal health of staff.

“The com­pany just saw great benefits in car­ing for staff, and it low­ered the ab­sen­tee rate by 50 per cent,” he said.

The care Fraser and his team pro­vided in­volved health and diet con­sul­ta­tions, group train­ing, per­sonal train­ing and mas­sage.

“It was all about that work-life bal­ance, and Flight Cen­tre pi­o­neered that, and now a lot of com­pa­nies are do­ing that model as well,” said Fraser.

“I re­ally en­joyed it; it was a good time in my life.”

When Fraser and wife Kylie found out their first child, Remy, was on the way, the pair de­cided they would like to raise their fam­ily back home.

It was around this time, back in 2006, when Fraser and Kylie de­cided to open a sports store in Mans­field.

“Grow­ing up here I saw there was al­ways a bit of a niche, be­ing a big sport­ing community, and there wasn’t re­ally any­thing to give lo­cals that op­tion to buy footwear and equip­ment in town,” said Fraser.

“I just thought ‘oh well, I’ll give it a go’, and we started quite small.

“The town is get­ting busier and busier, but the lo­cals them­selves are kind of sports mad, so the shop was re­ceived well and sup­ported well.

“We’re still go­ing, 10 years strong and grow­ing.”

Fraser and Kylie’s store, Sport­first, now plays a sig­nif­i­cant role in an un­ques­tion­ably sports lov­ing town.

“I like to look af­ter young kids com­ing through with footwear and ap­parel, and hope­fully of­fer a good ser­vice to lo­cals, so they don’t have to go out of town to get benefits that we should have easy ac­cess to here,” said Fraser.

“We are grate­ful for the sup­port we re­ceive, and without the sup­port we wouldn’t ex­ist.”

Fraser’s niche in the Mans­field sport­ing community, how­ever, goes be­yond his shop.

Fraser was a mem­ber of Mans­field’s last two pre­mier­ship sides ( 2004 and 2009) and coached Mans­field’s se­nior side in 2012 and 2013.

The pre­mier­ships are times Fraser re­mem­bers fondly.

“That was a bit of re­ward for the town, and I’ll never for­get that pre­mier­ship,” said Fraser, speak­ing of Mans­field’s 2004 tri­umph.

“It was pretty special for the whole town it­self; we had fi­nally cracked it in the ma­jor league.”

Now, when he isn’t fa­ther­ing his beau­ti­ful chil­dren Levi (6) and Remy (10) with Kylie, Fraser of­fers an es­sen­tial ser­vice to kids who want to fol­low in his foot­steps, and win more pre­mier­ships for Mans­field.

PRE­MIER­SHIP HERO: Af­ter play­ing in Mans­field’s last two footy pre­mier­ships, Fraser Steven­son has set­tled into his pro­fes­sional niche at Sport­first, sup­ply­ing Mans­field with sport­ing equip­ment and ap­parel.

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