CRAIG MOTTRAM ON PARENTHOOD
COMMONWEALTH GAMES SILVER MEDALIST CRAIG MOTTRAM TALKS ABOUT PARENTHOOD
Four-time Olympian and Commonwealth Games Silver Medalist, Craig Mottram was raised to lead an active and healthy life – something he has now passed down to his own kids.
His passion for middle distance running and being outdoors pushed him to pursue a career as an elite athlete and he has raced all over the world.
Craig notes his sporting career highlight as the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne saying it was a ‘once in a lifetime’ experience.
“The 2006 Commonwealth Games was held in my hometown, so I was able to walk from home and race and be home in time for dinner,” Mr Mottram said.
“The feeling of running in front of 100,000 people at the MCG was surreal, it was one big high-pitch cauldron of noise for the thirteen to fourteen minutes I was running – it’s a feeling I’ll never get to experience again.”
Another memorable moment was for Craig was running for 16 blocks down an empty Fifth Avenue to victory, when the famous and busy New York City street was closed for the iconic Fifth Avenue Mile in 2005.
“Things happen in sport that don’t happen in real life,” Mr Mottram said.
“It’s not often they close down Fifth Avenue in New York so you can run from one end to the other.”
Being one of three brothers, Craig attributes his success to his parents’ support and freedom when it came to doing what he and his brothers loved.
Not an easy feat to become a champion runner, Craig’s accomplishments were a result of hard work and dedication – as he says ‘getting out what you put in’ – and although winning was an achievement, it was improving his performance that drove his determination.
Now, a dad to two beautiful children Christian, 5, and Mikaela, 3, Craig enjoys promoting the active side of life and passing down important advice to his kids every chance he gets.
“When Christian was young and trying to walk, he would walk ahead of his legs,” Mr Mottram said.
So, I gave him advise that I give my professional athletes and that’s pump your arms then your legs will follow through.
“This not only helped him walk, but he now does this when he is running and it’s a technique he has taught to all his friends, who run around pumping their arms at kindy.”
With a mounting collection of toys and sporting equipment in the backyard and Little Athletics training to attend, “Craig and his wife Krystine work to ensure both of their kids lead a healthy and balanced lifestyle.
“It’s not about setting aside time to get outdoors and be active with your kids, it’s more about creating a lifestyle and leaving the opportunity available to them,” Mr Mottram said.
“Though Mikaela is still quite young she loves being outside, and Christian plays basketball and soccer, which are great team focused activities.
“Christian also loves running, which I secretly enjoy. He will come jog with me every Saturday morning when I take my training group and has also started at Little Athletics.
“I’ve found that kids want to be where their parents are, so if you are on the couch, that’s most likely where they will be.
“Children would much rather play outside with their parents than be on an iPad, but it’s all parent-lead, they like to do what we do.”
Taking his love for sport and his wife’s passion for athlete wellbeing, Mr and Mrs Mottram have now set up their own sporting programs for independent schools in Victoria.
Elite Wellbeing sees the dynamic pair create, write and implement sporting programs tailor-made for each school they work with, to help improve students’ health and wellbeing as well as enhance their academic performance in the classroom.
“We love what we do, it’s about making your passion your profession,” Mr Mottram said.
Though their focus is on spending as much time with their kids as possible, they someday hope to expand Elite Wellbeing nationally to help school kids across Australia.