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Fitness Finest Honoured In Auckland

Fitness Finest Honoured In Auckland For Their Fat-Fighting Efforts

Fat fighters in the Hawke’s Bay, a mobile personal trainer in the Far North and a dynamic duo from Blenheim are among the 18 winners in this year’s Fitness Life Awards.

Announced in Auckland last night, the Fitness Life Award winners include personal trainers, group fitness and gym instructors and fitness centres in the Far North, Auckland, Hastings, Wellington, Blenheim and Christchurch.

Deanna Tahau and Heather Skipworth from the Heretaunga Park Community Centre in Hastings took home the Sun Latte North Island Contribution to Community Excellence Award for their free programme targeting obese Maori in the Hawke’s Bay.

Their efforts have helped people lose hundreds of kilograms, quit smoking, reduce their blood pressure, run in half marathons and change their diets.

The judges said: “While many health promoters are still talking about the ‘how to’ Deanna and Heather are ‘getting on with it’! Their results are stunning.”

In Christchurch, Kris Tynan’s Energyse fitness club for 12 to 14-year-olds took the South Island prize in the category. The purpose-built circuit room at the Bishopdale YMCA enables Tynan’s team to boost the fitness of the teenage “energysers” through a progressive reward system.

The judges said: “With increasing debate about the need to reduce youth obesity levels, Kris demonstrates that she is not afraid to tackle this impressionable market.
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“Her Energyse programme is the first of its kind in New Zealand in which children are recognised for progress as well as attendance in a fun, supportive environment.”

In the Far North, mobile personal trainer Sue Price, nicknamed Kaikohe Sue, won Asics Up-and-Coming Personal Trainer of the year for her dedication to travel the region providing home training to her many clients.

The judges said: “She has shown enormous sensitivity to the different ‘walks of life’ that her many clients come from and has adjusted her product accordingly. Sue’s energy, passion and astute business practice are clearly evident, as shown by her ability to get to her client no matter what, even during the recent floods.”

In Blenheim, Charmaine McGregor from cityfitness won AUT Gym Instructor of the Year and her colleague Karen Grant is the South Island Food Show Group Fitness Instructor of the Year.

“Charmaine’s empathy for clients and genuine desire to make people successful in fitness identifies her as a clear winner, while Karen is an enthusiastic instructor who is passionate about delivering targeted, highly motivating group fitness classes,” said the judges.
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For the second year in a row, Mish McCormack of Mish Fitness in Wellington is New Zealand’s Fitness Life Personal Trainer of the Year and the North Island winner too.

“She is in a league of her own when it comes to personal training,” said the judges. “She has enormous energy and her ability to leverage off promotional opportunities and educational material is inspirational.”

The judges also praised the way McCormack has broadened her market to reach both corporate and suburban populations.

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Overall Food Show Group Fitness Instructor of the Year, and winner of the North Island award , is Mark Sinclair from Les Mills Auckland City, who is so popular his classes regularly have 200 people taking part.

“His ability to teach several different styles of classes, and so many classes each week, is an outstanding achievement. He knows what it takes to inspire, motivate and lead class participants,” said the judges.

New Zealand’s Adfit Fitness Centre of the Year is Les Mills New Lynn, run by Jaci Griffin, who launched the Les Mills brand in the area six years ago with the aim of improving the lives of west Aucklanders.

“Led by a local, this fitness centre strategically meets the needs of the unique west Auckland market and has achieved significant growth in this area.

“Jaci is leading a fitness centre that is having a fantastically positive and major impact on its local area, as well as showing success at all levels of its business strategy,” the judges said.

Jaci’s centre is also the North Island winner for facilities with more than 750 members. The South Island winner is the Bishopdale YMCA in Christchurch, run by Joe Crichton.

The North Island winner for centres with less than 750 members is Habit Platinum in Wellington, and the South Island winner is the Heritage Health Club in Christchurch.


South Island winner of the Asics Up-and-Coming Personal Trainer of the Year is Carol Hides from Diamond Fitness in Christchurch. Her small studio in Spreydon targets women who want to make a change in their lives, 90% of whom have never been to a gym before. The North Island winner is mobile trainer Sue Price.
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South Island winner of the Fitness Life Personal Trainer of the Year is Mike McCauley of O2 Personal Training in Christchurch, who has launched four new body transformation programmes in the past 18 months.

The 18th award - for Fitness Life Membership Sales Consultant of the Year – went to Debbie Vercoe from Les Mills in Auckland City.

The Judges:

International guest judge Dominic Dos Remedios: national PT manager for Fitness First Australia, part of the largest global fitness chain in the world.

Dame Susan Devoy: International squash champion and chair of the Halberg Trust

Nigel Harris: Senior Lecturer in exercise science at AUT University

Wendy Sweet: Founded and developed the world’s largest personal training programme for the Les Mills group in the 1990s. Lecturer at AUT and Waikato University.

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