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Auckland takes out supreme prizes at NZ exercise awards

Christchurch – Auckland personal trainer Kate Saynor and the Auckland University of Technology Millennium gym have won the top awards at the annual New Zealand exercise industry awards.

Saynor, an Olympic and Commonwealth Games weightlifter, was highly commended for her commitment as a certified rehabilitation trainer and pilates instructor from her studio, My Rehab Fitness, on the North Shore.

The AUT gym ran outstanding zoom classes during the covid pandemic lockdown while Les Mills gyms helped keep people moving during level four covid with their group exercise classes being made public to homes throughout the country for free.

Last year’s personal trainer of the year winner was Jessee James of Christchurch.

The awards coincided with FitEx which is New Zealand’s largest exercise conference. They recognise exercise professionals and facilities for helping many of the 500,000 Kiwis stay active, ExerciseNZ chief executive Richard Beddie says.

“Exercise is the biggest sport in New Zealand with participation rates larger than the next three sports combined, including rugby, cricket and netball.

“We are seeing huge benefits from the large gym chains helping tens of thousands of members, through to the individual trainers and teachers who help people one on one, or in a community hall” he says.

Research has proven that physical activity not only increases life expectancy, but also quality of life, and the New Zealand exercise industry is ready and willing to play its part.  Beddie has called on the government to work with the industry to help get more Kiwis active.

Something needs to change in New Zealand given that we are the worst of all the developed countries and 13th worst in the world in meeting WHO exercise guidelines, he says.

The winners of the annual NZ exercise industry awards:

Independent facility award: AUT millennium gym, Auckland

Personal trainer of the year: Kate Saynor, Auckland

Educator of the year: Luigi Bercades, Auckland

Innovation award: Growing Younger Fitness

Programme excellence award: The Run Crew, Queenstown

Franchise facility of the Year: Anytime Fitness, Cashmere, Christchurch

Studio of the year: Adapted Yoga & Pilates, Christchurch

UCPT award: Erica Stedman, Dunedin

Exercise instructor award: Stephanie Lim Fong, Auckland

Group trainer award: Christie Houghton, Auckland

Student award: Lisa Lyons, Auckland

Group exercise instructor: Joy McNamara, Auckland

Yoga teacher award: Tilak Raj, Christchurch

Outstanding support award: Lisa Brown, Christchurch

Community contribution: Les Mills NZ

For further information contact Make Lemonade NZ editor-in-chief Kip Brook on 0275 030188

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