BRINGING UP THE 'MOB'
22 January 2015, Written by Laura Daquino
MARCO Renai, the force behind Healthy Lifestyle Club and Men of Business (MOB), is on a mission to change lives.
"I want what I'm doing to become the next big social enterprise," he says.
"I am pushing very hard to have my two entities working together as one so the more success Healthy Lifestyle Club has, the more funding goes into MOB, the company's youth-at-risk program.
"I started as a personal trainer 10 years ago and set up Healthy Lifestyle Club, then four years ago I did volunteer work for a government agency to look after their youth at risk.
"I would run training sessions for them off the back of this, and through this realised there was a gap where male mentoring should be."
Healthy Lifestyle Club's target market is business managers and owners, which Renai says not only complements MOB, but has also made the initiative possible.
"I got 10 of my best clients around the table and told them I was putting $1000 into the business and, if they invested roughly the same, I could run a year of programs and report back to them on the success."
Renai runs programs through Helensvale High and Benowa High, and also works with government agencies and Scisco Career Pathways.
MOB started with six boys in its first program, and in the last year has seen through 200.
"Each year more than 500 teenage males on the Gold Coast feel they have no positive male role model and disengage from the community," says Renai.
"We are here to change that by putting at-risk youth through eight weeks of physical training at the gym, concurrent with education to help them navigate their lives."
Mentors are 'The MOB' members of the local business community who partner through guest speaking and provide funding. MOB turned over $80,000 in the past year, purely from word of mouth and fundraising.
"McDonald's are offering MOB an opportunity in every store on the Gold Coast, BMW Gold Coast are on board, and building companies are offering apprenticeships to the kids after they complete the program," says Renai.
"We all share the same vision of paying it back and moulding these boys into next-generation men of business."