Unusual hobby? Tell us

Over the years we've featured some of our members' unusual hobbies in The Review and we are now looking for more

unusual hobby
Contact jane.playdon@cisi.org 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 martial arts enthusiast; a motor racer; a hospital radio DJ and a stand-up comedian.

Recently featured
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.”


Q4 2018: Tim Boles, Chartered FCSI, managing director at Equilibrium Pensions, has been motor racing since the age of 17. He has competed in the Aston Martin Owners Club events with wins at Brands Hatch in Kent; Croft Circuit in North Yorkshire; Castle Combe in Wiltshire; and the Manx Classic in the Isle of Man, which he won on three occasions. His Chevrolet Camaro has outpaced racing megastars and appeared in Mad Max Fury Road.

Q3 2018: Financial planner and hospital radio DJ Francis Klonowski CFPTM Chartered FCSI has been helping listeners relax for 40 years. Running parallel to a career that began in the priesthood, detoured to the hospitality sector and culminated at Klonowski & Co financial planning, was his lifelong ambition to work in radio or journalism – a goal he achieved via his hobby as a hospital radio presenter at Radio Allerton, based at Chapel Allerton Hospital, Leeds.

Q2 2018: Luis Alcada ACSI, a data analyst at Alliance Trust Savings in Dundee and a stand-up comedian in his spare time. He signed up for a stand-up course during the Edinburgh Fringe Festival a couple of years ago and has been hooked ever since. “It’s the perfect hobby if you like adrenaline but are in terrible physical shape, like me. A lot of my work is stripping down processes to essentials, so I’ve carried that approach into my creative outlet.”

Photo by Kristopher Miller, Evening Telegraph, Dundee

Q1 2018: Suzanne Price completed six of the world’s most renowned marathons within a year. She says: “For elite athletes, their motivation is for the massive prize money. For me it’s more for the experience, an amazing Six Star medal and the kudos, as fewer than 3,000 people in the world have earned the title of the Six Star Finisher to date.” Just nine people in the UK have completed the challenge within a year and, among those, Suzanne is the only woman.

Published: 31 Oct 2019
  • The Review
  • unusual hobby
  • motor racing
  • kendo
  • hospital DJ
  • comedian

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