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ExerciseNZ welcomes significant growth in Maori exercise leaders

ExerciseNZ welcomes significant growth in Maori exercise leaders
November 30, 2018

Exercise Association of New Zealand (ExerciseNZ) Chief Executive Richard Beddie has explained how the country is experiencing a significant growth in Maori fitness and personal training leaders.

Beddie’s comments come after last weekend’s New Zealand Exercise Industry Awards saw Maori

Ngarama Milner-Olsen named personal trainer of the year winner and Jase Te Patu of Wellington named mind body teacher of the year.

Other Maori winners included Wellington’s Gillian Christian who won the Skills Active Manukura Award and a Rotorua gym winning a community contribution award. Maori award finalists included Calvin Mitchell of Rotorua and Joe Waide of Wanaka.

Beddie says the 2017/18 New Zealand Health Survey found 47% of Maori were obese and adults living in the most deprived areas, many of whom are Maori, were 1.6 times as likely to be obese as adults living in the least deprived areas.

Beddie commented “we are starting to see quite a positive shift in the number of Maori personal trainers and exercise instructors and leaders become involved in our industry which is just fantastic.

“Our annual exercise awards have always embraced Maori culture with haka and waiata now being common at each awards ceremony.

“In the latest awards, Maori were both well represented as finalists, but also as award winners, with several of the higher profile awards going to Maori.

“The awards were co-timed with the Hauora Yoga Conference and the FITEX fitness and exercise conference. With Hauora being in its first year, it was the first time that eastern philosophy and Maori values were intertwined and at a yoga conference anywhere in the world.

“The awards are a celebration of our collective movement and exercise industry in their work in getting more Kiwis active.

“To serve all New Zealanders our industry needs to be as diverse as our country and it’s great to see Maori culture not only being embraced as a part of programme delivery, but also now Maori are being recognised as true leaders in our industry in excellence in every dimension.”

Beddie says awards have previously gone to Maori but now it is becoming common every year. Several of the major Maori winners, including Milner-Olsen and Te Patu, have specialist projects that are inclusive of Maori.

Advising that the awards ceremony is also seeing more and more Maori attendees from places like Northland, South Auckland and Gisborne, Beddie added “it’s fair to say Maori often figure prominently in statistics such as lack of exercise and obesity but we are doing our bit to address that and embrace a growing number of Maori people being involved in the exercise industry.”

Images: All winners at the 2018 ExerciseNZ awards (top) and personal trainer of the year Ngarama Milner-Olsen doing a haka at the awards (below).

Related Articles

27th November 2018 - Les Mills New Lynn named New Zealand’s supreme club of the year

26th November 2018 - Skills Active awards leaders in the fitness and wellness industry

22nd November 2018 - 2018 ExerciseNZ awards set to be presented in Auckland 

19th November 2018 - New Zealand Recreation Association releases full list of 2018 industry awards

17th November 2018 - New Zealand organisations release guide to working in the exercise industry

6th September 2018 - ExerciseNZ’s Richard Beddie slams All Blacks move for more Government backing

27th July 2015 - Rotorua Gyms celebrate Wiki O Te Reo Maori

24th June 2015 - Tackling obesity through New Zealand’s rugby clubs

8th October 2014 - New Zealand Minister of Health and Sport to focus on obesity prevention

19th August 2012 - Beddie underlines importance of using registered exercise professionals

13th January 2012 - Water Safety Campaign targets high Maori drowning rates


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