Fitness and philanthropy are typically seen as two completely different animals. Sure, there have been nationwide runs organised for fund-raising purposes, but the term “fitness” goes beyond that. While it may seem strange to merge fitness with social enterprise, PushPullGive (PPG) accomplishes just that. So what is PPG all about and where are its roots? We spoke with the co-founder Konrad Haedicke, to find out more.
What is PushPullGive about and what led to its creation?
PushPullGive is a fitness social enterprise that wants to forge social impact through fitness. We run weekly bootcamps, yoga classes, and even a hip hop dance class that are open for everyone. Through the proceeds generated by such activities, we are enabled to give back to the marginalised youth in Singapore and to offer free workout programmes in various welfare homes. We want to Push people out of their comfort zone, Pull them to the next level, and help them Give back to society through fitness.
The idea of PPG was born out of a fundraising initiative that my friends Razif Yusoff, Herzy Hosini, and I had. We supported an organisation called Tiny Toones in Cambodia and were able to raise SG$5,000 through our charity fitness activities within three months. Since this went so well, we decided to pursue this further and to combine fitness with the idea of giving back to the community.
Why did you choose fitness as PushPullGive’s medium?
My friends and I are fitness enthusiasts but also like to help the ones who are not so fortunate and well off. It was only natural for us to start a fitness business.
PushPullGive also offers Fitness For Good activities that are open for individuals that want to give their workout a social impact. How does that work?
While we cannot bring our beneficiaries to the regular classes (due to privacy restrictions regarding the youths living in welfare homes), we still update our customers about our social mission whenever we have a class. We currently offer three HIIT bootcamps, two yoga classes, and one hip hop dance class on a weekly basis. Our classes are called Fitness for Good, because without our customers supporting PPG, we wouldn’t be able to run our social mission. On top of that, we raise awareness for our beneficiaries during events that we conduct with them or during other fitness events in town where we participate.
What is the key takeaway you would like your publics to receive?
We want to forge social impact through fitness and make people realise that they can support a great cause simply by getting fit for themselves. Work out with us and you can be assured that we will not only make you fit, but also help the youths and kids who are not so well off.
Where do you see PushPullGive heading in the next 5 years?
Our dream is to have a Social Gym that is open to everyone and where we give employment opportunities to eager young adults that come from difficult backgrounds but seek to begin a career in fitness. We also want to be known as a company that emphasises fitness and social support and helps to build a more cohesive and inclusive Singapore.
Why do think topics like fitness resonates so well within the community?
Fitness makes us feel good or strong, and we can see results with very little effort. That’s probably the main reason why city-dwellers like to engage in fitness – it makes them realize that they really can work their body, instead just spending most of their time in an office chair.
Do you like to train in the morning or evening?
I need my time in the morning, so definitely evening.
What’s the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning?
Coffee and more coffee!
What I do and hope to be a beacon of change for others.
That would be a long list. I would say that I just don’t like people who are dishonest to themselves and others.
My inspiration is…
Actually my faith
What is your “can't live without” item in your gym bag?
I do love my protein shake.
What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?
It’s fairly basic but a good reminder: One should treat others as one would like others to treat oneself.
What did you have for breakfast this morning?
I am quite European in that sense: Toast, butter and jam, plus an omelette if I have the time.
Who would you most like to train with or train?
One of my Instagram idols is a guy called Adam Frater. His movements and skills are awesome! I’d like to learn from him.
What is your number 1 favourite piece of fitness equipment and why?
All you need is a pull-up bar. If you master your pull-ups you practically don’t need a gym. Sadly, most gyms don’t have proper pull-up bars.
What is your top tip for someone aiming to be an elite athlete? (or getting into fitness if the person isn’t an elite athlete)
Do HIIT and CrossFit, go all in, don’t give up and train hard. The results will come in time.
Clearly you've hit many of your own personal and professional goals over the years, but we guess a person like you is always striving for more. What's at the top of your list to want to accomplish right now?
I want to see our movement and PPG grow and bring it to a whole new level. I can only rest once I have accomplished this mission: PPG to be known as a place where people get fit and change lives for the better.
Is there anything you’d like to say to those looking to make a difference in their lives or that of others?
Dare to dream and work on your dreams in order for them to come true. It sounds super-clichéd, but I really feel that most people tend to give up on their dreams prematurely and end up being stuck in a boring routine.
Who would you most like to tandem sky dive with?
No one as I am afraid of heights!
PPG is not like any other social enterprise based on hobby; it embodies a way of life. Compassion is the core of being human, and fitness empowers the exterior of mankind. By assimilating one into the other, PPG creates opportunities for the less fortunate who have just as much potential as everyone else but were dealt with a difficult deck of cards.