When we got together for this phone interview, Simon confessed to taking my call whilst taking advantage of the cracking Sydney summer weather and taking in the beauty of Bondi Beach, no doubt itching to get down to dip his toes into the refreshing ocean to get a reprieve from the relentless sun.
Simon grew up playing rugby league in Wollongong and then spent time in Canada and the UK, eventually taking an opportunity to try out for the Australian Bobsleigh team, making him the first out gay man to represent their country in Bobsleighing.
He moved back to Australia to live at the beginning of 2019 and since arriving back in the country has joined the Sydney Convicts, spent his time building his personal training business and focussing on social causes that strike something deep within him – especially those that affect the LGBTQI community, including being an ambassador for GiveOUT Day and the Bobby Goldsmith Foundation (BGF) in 2020.
Simon spends his days helping people, whether that’s working with paying clients on their fitness goals or participating in charity work. I was curious about whether or not they nurture his soul in the same way, “I definitely enjoy doing both of those things but generally the thing with the charities is that you’re helping people who are going though a tough time. The LGBTQI community had given me a lot when I was an athlete, they were my biggest advocates and my biggest champions, so now that I’ve quit sport, I get a lot out of it myself, being able to use my name and my profile to help others and volunteer my time every week to do that.”
When I ask what the biggest thing is that he thinks stops people from getting started with a personal trainer, he surprises me with his answer because I assumed all PT’s just figured that they were the only answer to all our fitness woes, but he says that’s not the case!
Simon has a calendar out for 2021 (available for purchase on his website) with a range of arresting shots to see you through the year and me, always with the hard hitting questions, really wanted to know about his hairy chest, which is gloriously featured in most of the shots. Mainly I wanted to know if he had to fight to keep it on, which still seems, unfortunately, a rare occurrence when it comes to bare chested chaps.
“I am in a constant struggle of clippering, tweezering and maintaining my body hair because I am interested in a nice even coat (laughs) so it is a constant battle. When I was younger I always shaved but now I’m quite proud of it and it’s who I am. It won’t be removed for a shoot, I’ll tidy it up but I won’t remove it.”
Long live the hairy chest!
Simon has various social media presences – but the best place to check him out is at www.bysimondunn.com