We think the best thing about Youfoodz (other than delicious meals) is the freedom to do more – more of what we love and more ways to become our best selves!
That’s why Youfoodz is sponsoring one of our chefs and all-round goal digger, Michael Richards, on his journey to becoming an international dragon boating champion with his crew, the Te Waka Dragons.
We sat down with Michael to find out what it takes to compete at an international level.
What's your role at Youfoodz?
I joined the Youfoodz Fam over three years ago. I started as a chef and then moved into a role within my favourite department – the meat slicing team. I run the night shift from 8pm to 4am and love it!
Working at Youfoodz gives me the time to be able to attend my training and competitions. Working at Youfoodz not only gives me the freedom to do what I love within and outside of work, getting a Youfoodz delivery saves me time during the week to do all the things in my busy schedule.
What's a typical day like for you?
I finish work at 4am and head to the gym at 5.30am. I spend two to three hours completing my workout, then head home do various household chores, followed by a five- to six-hour sleep. I wake up, have something to eat, chill, and get ready to start work!
Tell me how you got into dragon boating?
My cousin Maureen mentioned that she was going to try dragon boat racing with my other cousin Baz. I had not seen Baz for over ten years, so joining the dragon boating team was the perfect opportunity to reconnect and try a new sport. The rest is history!
What will this YF sponsorship money mean to you and your team?
The sponsorship has meant that I'm able to compete with my team and helps cover some of the expenses to get me to the upcoming World Club Crew Championships.
Where's your favourite racing venue and why?
My favourite venue is Lake Kawana on the Sunshine Coast because it’s our home turf. It was where I began the sport and where I’m most familiar with the conditions.
How does the sport challenge you? What do you love most about it?
The sport has challenged me in so many ways. I was 120kg when I first started dragon boat racing. It was a whole lifestyle change for me. I cleaned up my diet and hired a personal trainer to help me improve my fitness and achieve my goals. Being a part of a team sport has taught me to be more committed and has also improved my mental toughness.
When is this big competition happening and where?
Our next big competition is the 17th to 22nd of July for the Club Crew World Championships 2018, in Szeged, Hungary.
What are your next big challenges? (boating, work, life etc)
My next big challenges include the Australian National Championship in 2019, as well as a few other international regattas. I'll also be continuing on my fitness journey because I still have a lot I want to achieve!