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Presentation of annual New Zealand Fitness Awards

Presentation of annual New Zealand Fitness Awards
December 2, 2013

The annual New Zealand Fitness Awards have been presented, with Cityfitness heading the list of recipients by taking home three awards.

The Porirua-based business, which operates 21 clubs across New Zealand, won the Innovation Award for the second consecutive year; employee Micah Lyndsay Brown, based inBlenheim, won Personal Trainer of the year; while Rick White, responsible for 65 personal trainers spread across the South Island, won mentor of the year.

Cityfitness' Innovation Award, sponsored by Eye Fitness, recognised cityfitness' mobile gym, or 'truck' as it is affectionately known, part of Cityfitness' 'Get Active' campaign that aims to take fitness to the community.

Other facility awards included:

Exercise Studio: Activ8, Whangarei - for ongoing commitment to personalised service and team culture, Activ8 who the award for the second consecutive year.

Club of the Year (under 500 members), sponsored by Technogym: Habit Platinum, Wellington.
Last year Habit Platinum won this category with their combination of premium service and premium facility. This year they win again, with a continuation of those winning qualities and investment in new developments to continue to raise the bar on award level club operations.

Club of the Year (501-1500 members), Sponsored by Fitnessworks: ABSolute, Dunedin.
Judges noted that ABSolute has the feel of an incredibly friendly family gym. Strong growth in customer satisfaction, retention, and key performance measures are indicative of a progressive and effective operation that actively seeks and responds to genuinely valued member feedback.

Club of the Year (1500+ members): The Gym Tauranga.
Owned and operated by a husband and wife team, The Gym is an outstanding example of a club in one of the most hotly contested marketplaces in the country. The owners' commitment to business innovation and reinvestment is evident in the club environment, systems in place and exceptional customer satisfaction levels, retention and membership growth.

The Gym Tauranga was named Supreme Club of the Year.

Community and Education Awards

Community Award, Sponsored by Horleys: Lauren Parsons Wellbeing Specialist, Palmerston North.
Thinking outside the four walls of a facility, Lauren Parsons of Palmerston North conceived of and delivered free weekly community walks from a local chemist shop. The walks have attracted almost entirely people new to exercise, and incorporated charity fundraising. What a great initiative for community spirit, and a great way to encourage people into experiencing the benefits of regular structured exercise.

Lecturer(s) of the Year: Kelly Pender and Sheree Cooper, Bay of Plenty Polytechnic.
Years of student feedback forms proclaiming Kelly and Sheree as brilliant teachers, motivators, supporters and mentors are testimony to the passion and dedication with which they expertly deliver their trademark fun, innovative, respectful, and simply winning teaching ways.

Mentor of the Year, Sponsored by Drug Free Sport NZ: Rick White, Nelson.
With boundless energy, and nonstop phone support, Cityfitness' Rick is responsible for a group of 65 personal trainers over five different sites, spread from Christchurch to Nelson. And he manages Cityfitness Nelson too! Rick is truly a fitness mentor empowering his team to change lives.

Individual Awards

Group Exercise, Freestyle: Brent Edwards, Auckland.
The palpable group energy evident before, during and after Brent's classes demonstrate how participants simply love what Brent does and how he does it! Our specialist group exercise judges noted Brent's technical expertise and communication performance was exemplary.

Group Exercise, Pre-Choreographed, sponsored by APRA and PPNZ: Daniel Ball, Hamilton.
The superlatives 'stylish' and 'skillful' were often quoted among participants and judges of Daniel’s group exercise sessions. Daniel’s motivational and technical expertise, and excellent class rapport are deserving of award recognition.

Small Group Training: Matt Harrison, Whangarei.
'Huff and Puff Mondays', 'Sexy Circuit Tuesday' and 'Feel the Burn Fridays’ provide an insight into the modus operandi of the continued legacy of success in small group training for the Activ8 team. Provided in local parks and venues, Matt’s sessions are delivered with the energy, personal attention and group management that are the hallmarks of great small group trainers.

Gym Instructor of the Year, Sponsored by AUT University: Allison Sandquist, Auckland.
Great gym instructors are such a crucial part of the success of any club. Allison’s combination of experience, qualifications, genuine commitment to members and ways of communication make her a great instructor indeed.
Up and coming Student of the year, Sponsored by Les Mills New Zealand: Pauline Broughton, Tauranga.
A mother of five, including four year old twins, Pauline is an inspirational success story, from leaving school with no qualifications to graduating in the top three of her course. Pauline is acknowledged as someone who constantly supports and mentors her fellow students learning, and combines academic prowess with a gracious, humble and open manner admired and respected by all.

Outstanding Club Support Award, Sponsored by Belle by Invivo Wines: Toni Clough, Auckland.
Toni Clough is pivotal to CLM’s Onehunga War Memorial Pool Fitness Centre. With great zeal for her club, it’s evident that Toni’s support is fundamentally about working towards achieving the best for her members, her team and her local community.
Up and Coming Personal Trainer of the Year: Jessica Rule, Kerikeri.
A personal trainer in a studio on a dairy farm, Jessica’s passion to help primary producers means she is already making her mark and surely has future success imminent. An up and coming, winning personal trainer.
Personal Trainer of the Year, Sponsored by FitnessLife Magazine – joint winners: Micah Lindsay-Brown, Blenheim and Greig Rightford, Wellington.

Special Awards

REPs Award – for contribution to professionalism and standards: AUT University
As a REPs Registered Education Provider continuously since the inception of REPs and the largest provider of graduates to our industry. As a long standing CPD provider creating up skilling opportunities for Registered professionals. AUT also provides invaluable support by partnering with Exercise New Zealand to host the national FitEx Conference which provides access to quality Continuing Professional Development for exercise professionals and facilities from around the country. By registering their own exercise facilities as REPs Registered Exercise Facilities since the inception of REPs. By supporting the current review of the REPs pre screening form and guide by providing professional input and technical advice to the expert panel, and also recently as an active member of the national qualification review (TRoQ) over the last 18 months in place to raise the standards of education of exercise professionals.

Fitness NZ Award – for outstanding contribution to the industry: Julz Darroch
A 20+ year veteran of the industry, Darroch has done everyone from owning and managing clubs, instructing, right through to mentoring PTs. Julz has been instrumental in so many industry projects, from support REPs with media releases, though to supporting the industry through workshops and events, and more recently supporting the PT Council in their own development. 

Skills Active Award – for contribution to workplace education: Michelle Morris
The owner of Bodyworx Fitness Centre in Hokitika, Morris is an internationally Qualified Personal Trainer and is a Registered Exercise Professional. 

Click here for more information.

The full list of New Zealand Fitness Awards finalists can be viewed at




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