Search:



Remarkable story behind Mickey’s Classic debut

Posted: 10am 20 Oct 2020

Mickey Clarke has been inspired by Hollywood superstar Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson on his remarkable journey from Anytime Fitness Clontarf to the ICN Brisbane Classic.

Four years ago, Mickey hated physical activity … any physical activity. He was even told running and sport were out of the question without surgery. But how that has changed.

Now the 19-year-old from Clontarf loves working out in a gym, wants to be a fitness model, ambassador, physical trainer - and is about to start a new sporting career.

Classic move

Mickey plans to make his competitive bodybuilding debut this weekend in the ICN Brisbane Classic at Sleeman Sports Complex, Chandler (October 24-25).

It has been a long, remarkable, challenging and rewarding journey for the former Redcliffe Special School vice-captain who has autism, seizures and growth issues through Global Developmental Delay and Generalised Hypotonia.

Mum Natalie says her son also had trouble coping when angry …. until she spoke with Jonathan “Jono” Bannister, the owner of Off Tap Fitness.

“I decided to try some private physical training with Jono. Mickey wasn’t given a choice (in this),” recalls Natalie, “at that stage he was too young to join the gym.”

In the beginning

The sessions started at Anytime Fitness Clontarf, where Jono was based. At that time, Mickey did not talk with anyone. But how that has changed!

Now he loves all things fitness, wants to be an ambassador for autism and has a special bond with his ‘Fitfam’ at the gym, where he shouts ‘Yeah Boy!’ when completing a big lift.

And, to date, Mickey has also not had hip surgery, which was seen as essential and would have involved inserting plates.

Mickey’s Rock

Natalie says her son is inspired by Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson and ‘idolises’ Jono. In fact, after three powerlifting events Mickey decided to follow his mentor into bodybuilding.

“Mickey loves to make people proud of him, so will give anything a go and succeed,” says Natalie, “he will persevere until he gets it right.”

Jono says his “little brother” just needed to understand he was as “able as everyone else, but sometimes needed longer to learn.

“I made sure he was constantly pushing to do things out of his comfort zone,” says Jono, who now runs a Transformational and Personal Training Service at Anytime Fitness Lawnton.

“There is not much this kid can’t do, from being the most sociable one in the group, powerlifting and now making a third attempt at a bodybuilding show.”

Third time lucky

A broken arm forced Mickey out of his first bodybuilding competition and COVID-19 forced the cancellation of his planned second event.

However, Natalie says Mickey is now “super pumped” counting down to the Brisbane Classic. “He talks about getting up on stage incessantly,” she says.

When he does, it will show again the huge strides he has made since joining the Jono at the gym, including overcoming the issue of nutrition.

“The wrong food choices definitely affect his body and his mental state,” says Natalie, “when he first started eating broccoli it was covered in tomato sauce. Now he eats it like a champ.

“He still has a long way to go and is still in other therapies, but the difference a supportive community gym has made, proves it takes a village to raise a child.”

Volunteer role

The ‘village’ includes the Starkey Motor Group Redcliffe which offered Mickey a volunteer role helping clean cars and in the service centre at a time when he had severe depression.

“Mickey began a downward spiral after leaving school because he needs routine,” says Natalie, “he struggled with a lack of activities while I was at work.

“Starkey Motors offered him the role and this has helped him hugely.”

Mickey also volunteers at Anytime Fitness Clontarf, where he completed a school-based traineeship and Certificate 2 in Sport and Recreation.

“There is not a single person who can take credit for Mickey’s achievements. Not even me. Mickey has been shown the way and has run with it,” says Natalie.

“To say I am one proud mother is an understatement. He has achieved so much when specialists said he wouldn’t.”

There’s more news here

Share

Trending

Redcliffe ready for 'best field ever assembled at club'

The Hutchinson Builders Redcliffe Pro-Am, being held this Thursday and Friday (July 15-16), will have the greatest field ever seen at Redcliffe Golf Club.…

On the run to help hospital

Moreton Bay Road Runners (MBRR) are using their final hit out before the Jetty 2 Jetty (J2J) to support the annual Redcliffe Hospital Fun Run/Walk.…

More you might like:

Trending

Local News   •   23-7-2021  •   Kylie Knight

Moreton Daily Stadium to host two NRL blockbusters

Rugby league fans can enjoy not one, but two, NRL blockbusters at Moreton Daily Stadium next month when rounds 20 and 21 come to town.…

Local News   •   22-7-2021  •   Kylie Knight

TOKYO OLYMPICS: Day 2 action, results

The Aussie softballers, including two from our region, have won their game against Italy on day two of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. See our wrap-up here.…

Local News   •   21-7-2021  •   Moreton Daily

TOKYO OLYMPICS: Day 1 action, first results

The opening ceremony might not be until Friday, but competition begins today at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games - and the first results are now in. Check out our rolling coverage.…

Local News   •   19-7-2021  •   Kylie Knight

Jetty 2 Jetty’s a cracker

Serious runners, walkers, wheelchair athletes and everyday heroes enjoyed a ‘cracker’ of a Jetty 2 Jetty yesterday. See results and photos from the event.…

Local News   •   12-7-2021  •   Kylie Knight

Victory in battle of the bayside

The Dolphins pulled together to beat their top-placed bayside rivals on Saturday night with a team which included three debutants and an on-fire Jayden Nikorima.…

Local News   •   9-7-2021  •   Kylie Knight

Smart play for pups fundraiser

The Dolphins’ campaign to raise $30,000 for Smart Pups will be in focus at their home game this weekend as they chase down the remaining $13,000 needed to train an assistance dog for a child with special needs.…

Your free local community newspaper, home delivered fortnightly.

Read Latest Edition

Close