How Tim Robards helped wife Anna Heinrich prepare for SAS: ‘Family affair’

Anna Heinrich may be the one facing a number of extreme physical, mental and emotional challenges on the next season of SAS Australia, but her husband, Tim Robards, says that the reality TV experience has become “a family affair”.

Chatting exclusively with Yahoo Lifestyle, the former Bachelor star opened up about why it was a “joint decision” for Anna to appear on the Channel Seven military training series.

Tim Robards and Anna Heinrich.
Tim helped Anna train for season three of SAS Australia. Photo: Instagram/annaheinrich1

“As much as she then goes off and does it, leading up to that it was such a family affair because I would be training her,” he explained.

“But we had our daughter Elle as well, and a lot of it was through lockdown. So I'd be pushing the stroller up Bellevue Hill while Anna would have a backpack strapped on her, running up and down.

“Or we’d go down to the kid's park because we need monkey bars so she could practice hanging and swinging, and I’d be chasing Elle around the park while I also train Anna and go back and forth, back and forth.”


Tim also shared the reasons why his wife chose to join the cast of season three less than a year after welcoming their daughter, Elle, into the world.

“There was plenty of questioning whether it was the right thing to do, but I think the main thing for Anna was that she wanted to see what she was capable of,” he said.

“I think being a mother and the challenges of that and the strength that she's built up, she’s now at a point where she's like, I want to really see what I'm made of and I want to make my daughter proud.”

Tim Robards, Anna Heinrich and their daughter Elle.
Tim says Anna wanted to go on SAS ‘to see what she was capable of’ and to make their daughter proud. Photo: Instagram/mrtimrobards

While Tim and Anna have now appeared on two reality TV shows together, after meeting on The Bachelor in 2013 and competing on I’m A Celebrity in 2015, he says that he was happy to sit out of SAS because Anna is “in a lot better shape”.

“I kind of questioned who had the harder time because I was full-time daddy daycare for two weeks,” he added.

“I don't think either of us has had Elle for a full day without the other one being around, and then all of a sudden I've got her for two weeks. It was actually one of the best things, and I’d recommended it to anyone.

“It is hard work, but it cements a bond with your child that when you are the only person there from the moment you wake up to the moment you go to bed, especially when you do that for weeks on end, it's pretty special from a connecting point of view.”

Tim Robards and his daughter Elle.
Tim spent two weeks with his daughter Elle while Anna filmed SAS Australia. Photos: Instagram/mrtimrobards

Ahead of Anna’s SAS appearance next year, Tim is currently on his own fitness journey attempting to complete a total of 1500 burpees throughout the month of November.

The challenge is supporting brain cancer research, with the number of burpees representing the number of Australians that die each year from the disease.

Speaking about why he wanted to become an ambassador for Cure Brain Cancer Foundation’s Burpees 4 Brain Cancer initiative, Tim explained that his best friend Tom was recently diagnosed with brain cancer.

“He got his first COVID jab and had a headache afterwards that didn't go away,” he detailed. “And after about a week of a persistent headache, he went and had an MRI and found out he had a brain tumour the size of a golf ball in the middle of his brain that had been working its way there for quite some time.

“So his life was kind of turned upside down all of a sudden, just like that. He had no other symptoms apart from a headache, which was literally seven days old, and he was told he's got brain cancer.

“Luckily, within a week he was in hospital having brain surgery, He got through that and it was a good result, but the thing with brain cancers is that they generally create a web and they like to come back, so it's a hard one.”

Looking at the statistics, brain cancer is the biggest disease killer of kids in Australia and the biggest cancer killer of people under the age of 40.

“Essentially, you've got a 50% chance after being diagnosed of making it through to just after a year, and 5% of people make it to five years,” Tim continued. “So the survival rates are pretty slim and generally with people who get brain cancer, it's not a matter of what's going to kill you, it’s just a matter of when.

“Because of this, my good mate Tom and I just wanted to do something to raise awareness. Definitely a big part of it is raising money, but the other part of it is just something for us to do as mates.”

So far, the Burpees 4 Brain Cancer challenge has raised over $180,000 for brain cancer research, with the money helping fund vital research for people impacted by the disease.

You can donate to Tom’s challenge fundraiser here and learn more about the Cure Brain Cancer Foundation here.

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