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Driven by a vision of better health for Pasifika people

Latu To’omaga had a career teaching group fitness in some of New Zealand’s biggest gyms – but he didn’t see many Pasifika faces looking back at him in his classes.

Instead, Latu saw obesity and its associated health risks affecting people he knew and cared about.

So he changed gears and returned home to Cannons Creek to start up low-cost, Pasifika-themed exercise classes – on top of his other roles as an educator, speaker and businessperson.

In a new video from Skills Active Aotearoa, Latu describes how that led to becoming a Skills Active assessor, and supporting and mentoring others to become qualified group fitness instructors.

Being a great fitness instructor means teaching effectively, managing groups, ensuring class safety, and understanding the needs of participants, Latu says. And through the Skills Active framework, the trainees learn all this and more.

“It’s great to see people’s lives change, when they are coming from obesity to realising that they change themselves, and as a result they can change their children’s lives. It’s a generational change, if they can keep that going – I think that’s really awesome.”

To hear the full story and see Latu and his trainees in action, check out the video.


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