Top Kiwi exercise experts vying for NZ awards

Top experts from Whangarei, Palmerston North, Dunedin, Hamilton and Auckland have been named best personal trainer of the year finalists in ExerciseNZ’s annual exercise industry awards.

The finalists are Corinne Austin, Northland; Freya Thompson, Palmerston North; Matt McKay, Dunedin; Matthew Bevege, Hamilton; and Naz Spencer and Ross Bymolt from Auckland.

The winners will be announced at a gala ExerciseNZ event in Auckland on November 25.

Last year, Auckland’s Richard Ellis won personal trainer of the year and Christchurch’s Linda Miratana won the people’s choice award. See all of last year’s winner here.

The awards are very much the Oscars of the New Zealand exercise industry and they have been run by ExerciseNZ since 2005. They recognise excellence in exercise professionals and facilities, as well as for community contribution and support, ExerciseNZ chief executive Richard Beddie says.

“It’s a chance for clubs and individuals who positively contribute to the health and wellbeing of New Zealander to get recognition from their peers for their effort.

“The judging gets more difficult each year as the NZ health and fitness industry takes on increased responsibility and strives to come up with new ways of encouraging Kiwis to be more active.

“We know that, if considered a sport, exercise continues to be the number one sport in New Zealand, having more participants than the rugby, netball and cricket combined.

“There are an estimated 550,000 people who work on fitness at gyms and exercise facilities alone. But exercise is now just one of the many components to wellness. Many providers of exercise now offer far more holistic products and services, from dietary advice, to stress management,” Beddie says.

The ExerciseNZ award finalists are:

Chain / Group Facility of the Year – For facilities that are part of a larger chain or group. Sponsored by NRG Fitness

CityFitness Lower Hutt

CityFitness – Lyall Bay, Wellington

CityFitness – Moorhouse Ave, Christchurch

Les Mills – Newmarket, Auckland

Stanmore Bay Pools and Leisure, Auckland

YMCA Mt Albert, Auckland

Independent Facility of the Year – For facilities that are standalone businesses. Sponsored by Fitnessworks

Absolutes Fitness, Dunedin

Iron Hood Fitness, Christchurch

NRG Fitness, Cromwell

Total Body Gym, Gore

Studio of the Year – Studios and specialist facilities.

FXU Vibration Training Studio, Upper Hutt

Hot Yoga Works, Auckland

Power Living New Zealand, Wellington

Supreme Club of the Year – The best of the best.

Selected from the winners of the above 3 categories.

Personal Trainer of the Year – Finalists in this category attend the live judging event on November 24. Sponsored by AUT University

Corinne Austin, Northland

Freya Thompson, Palmerston North

Matt McKay, Dunedin

Matthew Bevege, Hamilton

Naz Spencer, Auckland

Ross Bymolt, Auckland

Up and Coming Personal Trainer of the Year – For personal trainers in business for less than two years. Finalists in this category attend the live judging event on Friday 24 November. Sponsored by Catchfitness

Abby Dutton, Hamilton

Devin Glover, Lower Hutt

Emma Goldstraw, Auckland

Polly Taylor, Blenheim

Shane Way, Hamilton

Tom Burke, Wellington

Small Group Trainer of the Year – Personal trainers who lead small group training sessions. Finalists in this category attend the live judging event on November 24. Sponsored by Fitnessworks

Adam Christian, Auckland

Libby Searle, Christchurch

Paula Brady, Lower Hutt

Manuela Sumetzberger, Christchurch

Steve Butler, Auckland

Group Exercise Instructor of the Year – Own Choreography – Instructors teaching freestyle group exercise classes. Sponsored by OneMusic

JB Anderson, Christchurch

Lis MacLeod, Auckland

Martin French, Auckland

Nicola Williams, Auckland

Group Exercise Instructor of the Year – Instructors teaching pre-choreographed classes. Sponsored by PowerMusic

Lee Radich, Palmerston North

Lis MacLeod, Auckland

Loren O’Hanlon, Auckland

Louise Neville, Christchurch

Vinny Lopez, Wellington

MindBody Teacher of the Year –This category includes Yoga, Pilates but can be any class style that incorporates extensive principles of mindbody philosophy. Sponsored by Courage my Love

Amy Green, Whakatane

Kotte Aguilar, Christchurch

Larissa Tonya O’Brien, Auckland

Lauren Tinker, Auckland

Nikki Ralston, Auckland

Outstanding Support Award – Individuals working in a support role in an organisation or a facility.

Di Lauder, Queenstown

Heather Bunyan, Wellington

Julia Laulu Faalogo, Auckland

Naomi Lovodua, Auckland

Community Excellence Award – Individuals or organisation offering exercise to populations that may normally find exercise difficult to access.

Silver Sneakers, Cromwell

YMCA Lynfield Youth & Leisure, Auckland

Active in the Park, Nelson

Tane Whanake , Christchurch

Programme Excellence Award – Programmes involving exercise nutrition or other lifestyle interventions.

Koha Fit, Tauranga

Nordic Kiwi, Auckland

OA Smart Course, Auckland

Puff Fitness postnatal recovery programme, Wellington

Innovation Award – A programme that is either a new idea or adds a unique angle onto an existing concept. – Sponsored by Active Management

Busybody 12 Minute System, Auckland

in2hula – Hoop with Heart Activity programme for preschool children, Christchurch

Stanmore Bay Leisure Centre – HIIT for Seniors, Auckland

Educator of the Year – A person supporting or training exercise professionals in a lecturing mentoring or presenting role.

Alistair Richardson, Hamilton

Mark Hurdle, Christchurch

Siona Fernandes, Auckland

People’s Choice Award – The winner chosen by popular vote. Sponsored by Horleys

Daz Murray

Dmitro Miklashevskiy

Kylie Carston

Lis MacLeod

Lauren Tinker

Michael Sullivan

Paula Brady

Renee Riley


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