Tell us about your unusual hobby

CISI members are a diverse group with some extraordinary pastimes outside of work. Over the years we've featured some of your unusual hobbies in The Review and we are now looking for more

Contact if you are a CISI member with a hobby you think will interest other members. You  will receive  a £25 voucher as a ‘thank you’ if we publish your story

Our members’ hobbies are wonderfully diverse – recent member profiles have included a a frontline volunteer with London Search & Rescue; a former championship chess player; a volunteer for a humanitarian disaster relief charity; a powerlifter; and a kendo practitioner. 

Extracts from the articles are featured below. Please click on the links or the images to read the full pieces. 

Recently featured May 2020: As a frontline volunteer with London Search & Rescue (LONSAR), John Yue, Chartered MCSI, regularly steps outside his comfort zone to help locate vulnerable missing persons.

Of the five callouts John has been on since becoming operational, three have had the desired outcomes. One person was located by a dog team, a 12-year old-child with Downs Syndrome was found by a search team, and a dementia patient turned up at a hospital on the opposite side of London to where they had gone missing.

“It still amazes me that services such as Lowland Rescue, the Air Ambulance and the RNLI are self-funded charities," says John. "The broader issue is that with more funding in the area of health, social care, and mental health services, there would be less need for the involvement of the emergency responder and lowland rescue units.”

February 2020: Former championship chess player Duncan Glassey CFP™ Chartered MCSI took to chess “like a fish to water” at the age of nine, joining the school and local chess teams in Falkirk, Scotland, progressing quickly to a professional level and playing in tournaments around the world.

Four years ago he played the Million Dollar Tournament in Las Vegas, against some of the best players in the world. His most notable result was a draw against American grandmaster and three-time US women's chess champion Anjelina Belakovskaia after 4.5 hours of play. “Chess teaches us to be patient. Financial planning and investment management supports clients to be patient, without looking for the quick fix, in order to achieve and maintain their desired lifestyle.”

October 2019: Amarjit Singh Bansal, Chartered FCSI, risks his own safety to help persecuted women and girls in disaster-stricken territories. He is in the business of helping people, whether that be through his day job as a personal injury and court of protection (PICOP) independent financial adviser with the Leeds office of Chase de Vere, or through his voluntary work with charity Khalsa Aid International (KAI).

His voluntary work with KAI is based on its key Sikh principle to ‘Recognise the whole of the human race as one’. KAI is a UK-based humanitarian disaster relief charity providing support globally to victims of natural and man-made disasters such as floods, earthquakes, famine and war.

July 2019: Powerlifter and wealth manager Sandra Dailidyte, Chartered MCSI, holds Lithuanian squat and deadlift records in the 72kg category. Sandra takes the weight of the world off her shoulders by powerlifting four to five times a week. Her own personal best to date has been a deadlift of 175kg, which she completed in October 2017 when she shared the platform with the then strongest woman in the world, Donna Moore.

Most athletes use a tried and tested method to get psyched up and in the correct frame of mind, pre-competition. Sandra is no exception: “Before the competition I start using visualisation techniques – close my eyes and imagine successfully completing the lift. I use meditation and breathing exercises to keep calm. And just before entering the platform I listen to loud angry music and think of inequality. The latter makes me angry and I channel that feeling to lift the weight!”

Q1 2019: Liam Palmer, Chartered MCSI, cuts through the stress, intensity and challenges of work by practising the Japanese martial art of kendo twice a week. For a few hours a week, "I think of nothing but my kendo practice and the opponent in front of me. The aggression and speed of kendo makes it very easy to maintain focus … sometimes just on getting air into my lungs,” says Liam.

He was attracted to kendo by the combination of strenuous physical effort and discipline required: “There is no defence or blocking in kendo – only attack. Advanced practitioners may use techniques that rely on the opponent initiating an attack, but only with the intent of being able to use that as an opportunity to strike themselves.”

Published: 11 May 2020
  • Community
  • The Review
  • featured
  • volunteer
  • unusual hobby
  • search and rescue
  • powerlift
  • Khalsa Aid International
  • kendo
  • chess

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