Community Champion: Tristan McKay

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Tristan McKay is new to the Hunter Valley, but it’s taken him no time at all to fall in love with the community and its people. This month, @ The Coalface caught up with the young entrepreneur who has quit professional rugby league to start up his own business supporting some up-and-coming local sports champions along the way.

Tristan, now 25 years old, started playing rugby league in primary school. He played for his school team on the Central Coast alongside his best mate Jack Cogger (former Newcastle Knight and now Penrith player) and after proving successful there, Tristan then went on to play for the Toukley Hawks who were undefeated for a number of years.

Toukley fostered some very talented players with seven of them, including Tristan, being signed to NRL clubs. Tristan signed on with the Manly Sea Eagles.

While he was contracted there, Tristan also played OzTag professionally with his sister Riley and was selected to represent Australia in the under-18 men’s OzTag side.

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After being with the Sea Eagles for three years, pushing himself to be the best player he could, Tristan eventually decided NRL wasn’t for him.

“I’ll be honest, the politics got to me and I went down a bad path mentally.

“I didn’t have the right support system in place, I was working my body to extreme lengths trying to keep up and it all became too much.

“My mates were all making NRL and Cup but I hadn’t had my chance yet and just felt like another statistic with no backup plan.”

So Tristan came up with a backup plan, his own business doing something he loved that would help sportspeople achieve their dreams and be a rung on the support ladder that he never had himself.

He knew he wanted to work in the health and nutrition industry. After leaving NRL behind, Tristan took up a job as the National Sales Manager for Reset Nutrition and Send It Energy.

“To see them grow and be able to help people in ways I can’t even describe gave me the ambition to do the same.

“I was lucky enough to be mentored by Dave Walker who founded Reset Nutrition & Send It Energy. I truly owe a lot to Dave.”

After spending some time in that job, Tristan decided it was time for a new challenge – starting up his own business, Nutrition Hunter.

“We visited the Huntlee estate a couple of years ago and we just fell in love with the community.

“Getting to help people is something I am so passionate about & most of all giving people a space where they feel comfortable to come into the Nutrition Hunter store and ask questions without any judgement.

“Nutrition and supplements are so much more than just products and advice, it’s a lifestyle change, it’s a healthy mindset, and it’s a new beginning.

“My ultimate goal is to run a successful small business with the backing of our amazing community being able to help and change people’s lives,” Tristan said.

He’s already started to do that too, getting behind some local sportspeople that have a big future ahead of them.

One of those is Singleton racecar driver Ryan Gilroy who had Tristan’s support on and off the street circuit to get him ready for his debut at the Newcastle 500 Supercars event in March in the Dunlop Super 3 series.

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“To debut and finish 3rd in the Newcastle 500 is just a massive achievement that he should be very proud of.”

Tristan has moved to Huntlee with his fiance and two boys, Knox who is 4 and Arlo who just turned one.

“I am extremely grateful, I have such an amazing family who supports my big and ambitious dreams.

“Both boys are very sporty and love playing soccer, or riding the skateboards and scooters. Then there is my beautiful fiancé Rachel who loves playing soccer as well.

“Nutrition Hunter will be a family owned and run small business. The money customers spend is putting food on the table for my family and buying swimming lessons or helping pay school fees etc.

We are not a big corporation or massive a brand, we’re local.”

Nutrition Hunter will be opening in April so keep an eye on their Facebook and Instagram for all of the details!

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