Fighting fit over adversity

A life-changing accident on the footy field had Joel Coates believing he’d never walk again. But the Mildura man was determined to make the most of his second chance at life, and through sheer determination, months of gruelling rehabilitation and a “never-say-die” attitude, he rose up to not only walk again, but to own and operate the successful gym empire of his dreams. Joel spoke to Ashlee Falvo about what it takes to overcome adversity, how a positive mindset can make all the difference, and his rise from underdog to top of the pack. Pictures: Ben Gross

FROM humble beginnings in small-town Balranald, by no stretch of the imagination did Joel Coates have an easy upbringing.