Kids are definitely the next step for us, I would probably like them sooner than Anna
e. n as me tI k about and I have no credibility. That was my focus going into the first season. But this season I felt I didn’t have to worry so much about saving face in a way, I just wanted to go in and do as well as I could do for me.”
Robards was among 8000 hopefuls who applied for the second season of the popular Australian Ninja Warrior, which averaged almost 2.5 million viewers last year.
Returning competitor Zoe Featonby was nicknamed Titanium Woman last season due to the fact she underwent spinal surgery for severe scoliosis at 16.
“I wanted to be a bit of a role model for guys and girls out there who have had spinal surgery like mine and to prove you can go out there and achieve if you put your mind to it,” the 27-year-old occupational therapist from Canberra says.
“I had so many messages from young girls through social media and their parents who thanked me for sharing my story and said it was nice to see such a positive outcome.”
Joining them is newcomer Jordy Papandrea, who’s raring to have a crack at the course.
“With my background as a gymnast I can see a lot of links between that and Ninja Warrior, so I thought it would be a good way to test my gymnastics skills and training in a different environment,” says the 22-year-old Sydney student, who has done gymnastics since age four.
Talking to BW Magazine fresh from a 36-hour plane trip after his three-day Italian wedding to his reality star belle Anna Heinrich and a week-long “mate-moon” with their closest family members and friends, Robards says life is good right now.
The Newcastle chiropractor who put his heart on the line in front of the nation when he appeared on the first series of The Bachelor five years ago, says their magical wedding was the “I told you so” moment the pair’s detractors needed.
“No one had done it before, so we could have come out of it as the laughing stock of this new show,” Robards says of their appearance on The Bachelor in 2013.
“We copped a lot of criticism for years, with people thinking we were in it just for the fame.
“But we just got married, so obviously we had the right intentions, we know we did.”
Robards says The Bachelor has changed a bit since his season.
“Each year you have to up the ante, at the end of the day it is a TV show and it’s about ratings, so they have to create more drama and that comes down to the people they put on the show,” he says.
“Also, when you come out of that environment, there is the opportunity for the commercial stuff and to create a profile, and I think a lot of people go into it purely with that outcome in mind now.
“I was lucky that for Anna and I, that was the last thing we were thinking about.”
It may have been the last thing the lovebirds were thinking about but commercial opportunities have abounded for the couple, who now live in Sydney’s eastern suburbs. fter the show and with a background as a sports chiropractor, Robards developed a fitness program called The Robards Method, which offers training and nutrition programs for every fitness level. Between them, the pair are ambassadors for brands including Oral B, Pantene, Blistex, Aussie Bodies and skincare lines Blessed by Nature and Handsome. Anna, a criminal lawyer, also runs her popular fashion and beauty website Love Always Anna.
They have a combined Instagram following of more than 500,000, making them one of Australia’s most loved couples, and the first Bachelor couple to tie the knot. Despite this, they refused to sell the rights to their wedding and honeymoon, despite several lucrative TV and magazine offers. Robards jokes, though, that he Anna Heinrich and T im Robards tie the knot in Italy and, abo ve, enjoy part of their mate-moon in T urkey. could have done with the help paying for the luxe Italian event.
“The hardest bit was choosing where the wedding would be and when we decided on an overseas location we thought we’d just keep it small,” Robards says of the ceremony in Puglia. “Then when we put it out to friends and family, everyone said they wanted to come and we ended up with 110 people who all flew over from Australia. So we decided on a three-day wedding and a mate-moon along the Turkish coast on a boat.”
It’s clear 2018 is the couple’s year, just as Robards planned.
“I talk a lot about writing down goals but this year I wanted to finally do a vision board,” Robards says.
“About four years ago I bought the big piece of cardboard and never did anything with it, so this year I pulled it out and put all this stuff on it.
“It’s up in my kitchen and I have things on it — from the wedding and location, design concepts for a house I want to buy, brands I want to work with, quotes that resonate with me, different places I want to travel to and career stuff which involves speaking and teaching.
“Looking back on it now, it’s like tick, tick, tick, on a lot of things. This year a lot of the stuff I wanted to achieve is finally happening.”
One topic that may not have not made it to the vision board but is front of mind is a baby.
Robards is quick to say he would like to start a family as soon as possible, laughing that it’s his biological clock that is ticking, rather than Anna’s.
“Kids are definitely the next step for us, I would probably like them sooner than Anna because I’m a little older than her,” he says of his 31-yearold bride.
“I look at my dad and I could go and play a game of squash with him when I was 20 and he was mid-40s. I’ll be 55 or even 60 when my kids are 20, so hopefully I’ll be a fit older guy. But I want to make sure I can do with my kids what my dad did with me.”