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Sweat & determination are fit for business

Monday, 24 October 2016


Patricia Slapp has climbed through the ranks of the fitness industry since she finished her sports science degree at ECU. She tells Danika Ferguson what keeps her moving.

As a former athlete, sports aerobics champion, fitness instructor and all‑round active woman, Patricia Slapp knows a thing or two about pushing yourself to your limits.

The former competitive gymnast had always fixed her eye on a career in fitness, so when she chose to study sports science at ECU it was a natural step.

The degree gave her the confidence to set her sights high and also valuable experience within the industry, gained while working at the University’s gym – ECU Sports – while she studied.

It was experience that helped her secure a job in London after graduation as a national trainer and presenter with fitness powerhouse Les Mills UK — where for 12 years she delivered training and fitness workshops and presented at national events.

“At Les Mills I trained other fitness professionals and they could really put you on the spot with questions, so having the background knowledge from my degree was really important,” Slapp says.

“I’m proud of the work I did for Les Mills — it was a very high profile position and I valued the opportunities to train and motivate other industry professionals and support their growth.”

While working for Les Mills was a career highlight, Slapp’s proudest achievement has been to launch her own business — Bordoni Sport —offering high quality, technical fitness clothing to suit active women.

Bordoni Sport combines Slapp’s insights into practical fitness fashion with her talent for sewing, something she learnt from her grandmother at a young age.

To succeed, she gained additional fashion qualifications in London and has developed a presence in the increasingly competitive ‘ath‑leisure’ industry.

“Creating my own brand is something I’ve always wanted to do and it tied in closely with my work in the fitness industry,” Slapp says.

“It’s an activewear brand designed by a fitness professional. As an athlete and fitness instructor, I know what designs work best and what doesn’t and I’m also really pedantic about the fabrics I use

“My clothing is functional and stylish and it’s made for women who train hard but still want to feel confident in what they’re wearing.

“Starting the business is one of the hardest and most rewarding things I’ve ever done.”

Now home living in Perth, Slapp continues to work in the fitness industry as a trainer at F45 East Perth and sells her Bordoni Sport collections online at

Her advice for any students wishing to pursue a similar career path is simple – know what you want to achieve and stay focused.

“You need to have a good idea what you want to do first, especially in sports science where there are so many facets of the industry you could end up in,” she says.

“Be sensible when picking your electives and select subjects which are likely to help you reach your future goals.”

Patricia is featured in ECU’s 25 years, 25 faces project, showcasing successful graduates from across the past quarter century. See for more.


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