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Fitex & Awards 2018


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Adam Floyd
Adam is a Physiotherapist and Exercise Physiologist with 20 years clinical experience. He is the director of Regenerate Physiotherapy in Perth, which incorporates a commercial rehabilitation centre. The centre specialises in exercise programs for clients with osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, sports injuries and spinal pain. He has 25 years of fitness industry experience including working as a PT and a facility manager and regularly presents at national and international fitness industry conventions
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Alex Burrows
Alex has 10 years international experience focussed on the innovative use of data to create more active and healthy populations. He is a Founder Director at UK-based company 4 global and led the development of what has become the largest global database of shared intelligence on members, participation and facility performance (over 7m members, 500 million visits, 3,500+ venues). Having grown this sport intelligence, planning and investment consultancy over the last 5 years, Alex has recently moved to Australia and setup ActiveXchange, in order to open up market and business intelligence across the Australasian leisure and fitness industry. This ultimately means more data driven decision making, leading to a more connected, coordinated and effective sector.

ActiveXchange is focusing on answering two key questions very well. Why one person is more likely to use a facility than another person, at any point in time (and then how to reach them). Why one facility is better at absorbing this customer demand than another. The intelligence generated has application and value throughout a facility operator’s business, as well as shaping sport body and government investment planning.
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Andrew (Chaddy) Chadwick
With over a decade of fitness industry experience to draw on, Chaddy is an NLP Practitioner, PTA Global Faculty Member, TRX and Trigger Point Performance Senior Master Instructor, Senior SandBell, Kettlebell and Battling Ropes, instructor. He is also now proudly associated with the body weight movement program Animal Flow as a Master Instructor. His time in the Australian army led him through some physical pain and then on a journey to discover its cause. That then led him to health and fitness where he has been able to help himself and others through movement coaching. He was eventually able to return to his sporting passion, Australian Rules Football, as a player and coach. He is now studying martial arts and finds it a fantastic way to learn and observe movement. Chaddy can apply science and intuition to movement and make it fun and through this earned the 2017 Network FILEX Presenter of the year. His driving passion is now to create health for others, by helping them generate energy and longevity through coaching, play and movement.
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Alexander Roach
Over the last decade, Alexander has moved from very typical fitness industry beginnings as a basic personal trainer and bootcamp instructor, to running large-scale weight loss and body transformation challenges, to his current role as head trainer at Flexa Physio where he leads a team of highly specialised personal trainers and works alongside New Zealand's top physiotherapists and allied health professionals.

Alexander’s goal is to get people ranging from professional athletes to professional desk jockeys and from weekend-warriors to gardening grannies back to doing what they love, moving well, and performing at their best. He specialises in acute pain and injury management, prehab and rehabilitation following orthopaedic surgery, muscle rebalancing, and functional mobility as it applies to everyday people doing what they need to do in the real world.

Alexander also serves as a head coach and the group exercise specialist for Counterpunch Parkinson's where he uses his unique skillset to lead boxing-based exercise groups for people living with Parkinson's Disease and teaches other coaches how to adapt and modify exercise for the Parkinson's population.
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Ali Tilley
Ali is the director and head teacher of Sādhana Yoga Ltd. (est. 2006), and recently she set up the NZ Yoga Centre in rural town Marton – two hours north of Wellington.
Bridging worlds between modern yoga and academia, Ali completed her BA (1st Class Hons.) in Religious Studies in 2015 (specialising in South Asian Religions at Victoria University, Wellington), and finished her Master’s Degree in 2017. Ali’s MA thesis focuses on the changing cultural dynamics within NZ yoga communities.
Ali’s unique ‘insider-outsider’ perspective offers an intriguing look at changes taking place in the Aotearoa/ New Zealand (NZ) yoga industry over the last century. She also considers where local yoga trends are heading in the future. Ali’s viewpoint has been further informed by 15 years in the Fitness Industry, working as a manager and trainer at busy women’s gyms.
In addition to teaching yoga and pursuing academic research, Ali frequently returns to India, yoga’s birth place, to visit sacred sites, live amongst sadhus (in particular the holy men of Juna Akhara), and run yoga tours for practitioners from NZ. This connectedness with diverse cultures has led Ali’s to her role as yoga ‘guru’.
With feet straddling 3 worlds – yoga, academia, and sadhu life – Ali keeps a keen eye on how transcultural trends shape and redefine NZ’s homegrown yoga marketplace.
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Amy Green
Amy L. Green (MA, E-RYT 500, YACEP, STOTT PILATES Reformer & Foundation Training Instructor)
Amy is the Founder of Mind Body Movement Yoga & Pilates Studio in Whakatane, NZ, and has studied, practiced, and taught for 18 years. She was named the ‘Mind Body Instructor of the Year 2017’ by the Exercise Association of NZ.

Amy’s main objective in each class is to teach yoga asana in a way that is accessible, sustainable and mindful; supporting students to get out of the head, into the body and even beyond the body. Her teaching style holds space for students to tune into a subtle ‘felt experience’ of abundant gratitude as they practice. Though Amy’s teaching style is less traditional and more exercise science based, it is all about the dynamic balance of stihra and sukha, of yin and yang, of movement and stillness; building greater mind/body awareness. Amy’s classes have an element of play, fun and laughter—because she believes if it’s not fun, why bother? Life is a play and yoga is a dance.

Amy is an avid learner and is frequently training to keep on top of research and developments in the field. She endeavours to make all participants feel safe, supported and welcome in her classes. Amy believes that our health is our wealth and when we aren’t healthy, we can’t enjoy the things we love in life. Her classes and private sessions are taught with that simple philosophy in mind.
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Angela Jenkins
Angela Jenkins is a Holistic Health expert and co-owner of the Kaizen Institute of Health. Angela specialises in optimal health programs with a particular interest in stress, hormonal balance, epigenetics and functional lifestyle medicine. Angela brings over 20 years of industry experience to her detailed mentoring world including leaders from various fields. She also created 104Will a charity movement dedicated to purposeful challenges themed around 104 or for 104 days to enrich your life in honour of her son Will. As a public speaker, mentor, coach, and teacher, Angela’s message is #lifeisshortwhatspossible
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Benjamin Siong
Benjamin Siong is the Founder of Australian Strength Performance, Australia's premiere training and education company focused on 4 main areas: athletic performance, physique transformations, sports psychology and optimal nutrition.

Having graduated with a Bachelor of Science, and an further honours degree in psychology, Ben is also a level 5 Poliquin Strength Coach, ISSN Sports Nutrition Specialist and a highly sought after international fitness presenter. His expertise lies in combining specific training protocols with optimal nutrition and supplementation - all individualized and specifically tailored to help the athlete accelerate their progress and achieve their goals.

He has worked with top international athletes in over 16 different sports, as well as with champion bodybuilders, fitness models and pageant queens, including Miss Australia 2011 and Miss Malaysia 2012. He is contactable on
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Brendon Watt
Beez Ngarino Te Waati

Creator and Guardian of Māori Movement
CEO of Beez Mode Fitness
Guardian of Hawaiki Tū productions

Beez and his wife Kurahapainga Te Waati are the founders of their new innovative concepts under the realm of their production company Māori Movement and are ona mission to share and produce like minded practitioners of the world.

visit -
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Cam McDonald
Working closely with the Ultimate Human Foundation, Dr Cam is driven to increase awareness around the need for a personalised approach to health. This work, while in true alignment with his mission of creating tangible and healthy change in the world, has allowed him to work closely with some of the world’s brightest minds, working across many industries to instigate positive change for our health care and community.

Being an educator & mentor to hundreds of health professionals, a dedicated health practitioner and coach to thousands of individuals over his career, and a committed father and partner, Cam has a wisdom and manner that draws out the best in people, and allows them confidently take a positive step towards their best life
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Carl Hammington
Carl is a founder and Director at HealthFit Collective - a fully integrated gym in Wellington. He is responsible for education and up-skilling of the staff and members within the club. He is the founder of BestMe and host of Bestme Radio (Podcast).

He has been in the industry for over 16 years and also operates as a corrective exercise specialist, a FUNctional movement coach and play advocate. He strongly believes that through attaining certain foundational movements and applying the principle of play everyone will get the most out of life.

He knows this as he is also a father and is constantly learning from his daughters. They are often seen playing in the garden, cooking together or crawling around the backyard playing animals!

For more about Carl:


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Chantal Brodrick
Chantal worked for 15 years in senior sales and marketing roles in the media industry before transitioning careers. She began as a qualified Personal Trainer and Group Fitness Instructor. Realising she could do more to help the industry, she become a Fitness Business Coach with Active Management. Then in 2015 became the host of The Fitness Business Podcast. Now with over 100 shows and 100,000 downloads, it is the world's top podcast for fitness business owners, managers and fitpreneurs.

Chantal has spent more than 1,500 hours interviewing business leaders, industry experts and authors. She has ringside seats in the journey of business development and gains insights into successes, challenges and advice on how to lead an exceptional fitness business.
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Cheryl Roche
DR. CHERYE ROCHE - Doctor of Chiropractic
* Registered Chiropractic Doctor in NZ, Aus, UK, USA
* Sports Chiropractor - spinal and extremity injury care
* Exercise physiologist - Univ. of Washington - USA
* Biomechanist - linking the kinetic chain to injury prevention
* Clinic Director - Pure Healthcare multidisciplinary clinic
* Founder - The Gait Doctor - Provision of custom orthotics
* International speaker on clinical biomechanics
In my 20+ years of clinical practice, academic inquiry, and provision of healthcare products, I have come to understand that muscles do not simply become weak for no reason. Muscle imbalance is secondary to either biomechanical or neruological imbalance. Identifying that this is the case is not a complicated as you think. Simple observation and common sense will lead any health professional to see the need to bring balance to the body biomechanically first, and then to rehabilitate the weak or contractured tissues. Come to my talks to learn more about how to better serve your clients. I am excited to see you at the FitEx event.
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Christine Gill
Christine is the Executive Director of Osteoporosis New Zealand (ONZ).
After graduating from Massey University with a BSC (Biochem), Christine started her career as a member of the Connective Tissue Research Group, Department of Surgery, at Auckland University’s School of Medicine.
Following some years gathering experience in corporate sector in both the nutritional and pharmaceutical fields Christine joined the ONZ team in 2015.
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Corrine Austin
What's Possible if you let it be possible' has been a favourite quote of Corinne's for a couple of years, and she now not only lives each day by it, but tries to empower her clients and mentorees with it also. Having been in the industry for more than 12yrs, and running her own business for 11yrs, Corinne has an endless enthusiasm for the incredible potential the industry offers, and a passion to help clients and mentorees succeed in their greatest goals and ambitions. Having worked alongside industry gurus like Dave Liow, Angela Jenkins, John Polley, and Ian O'Dwyer for the last couple of years, she has expanded her horizons as a PT, pioneering a new way to approach her work with clients - and it's this she attributes to taking the prestigious PT of the Year title in 2017. Corinne has fresh and funky ideas for keeping the freshness and the funk in your clients sessions and in your career as a fitness professional – and she’d love to share these with you!
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Dan Hardie
Known as the “weirdo” at the gym, Dan is obsessed with human movement, play and how the body and mind learns. A Personal Trainer of 9 years Dan coaches humans from the age of 9 to 80+ to move better and play more using simple tools. Dan’s passion for self development has led him to explore aspects of philosophy, gymnastics, dance, juggling, trail running, yoga and many other genres. Dan encourages education over information and practical experimentation over stereotypical conversation, i.e. let's get moving first and talk about the weather later!
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Dave Liow
Dave is an exercise physiologist specialising in holistic health and exercise. He is the co-owner of the Kaizen Institute of Health in Australia.
Dave has a long history in elite high-performance sport conditioning. He currently lectures internationally to health professionals on integrating a holistic approach to health and fitness
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Emma Masters
Emma is the Master Educator for STAGES® Cycling in Australia and New Zealand, Velocity Indoor Cycle Master Trainer and has been managing and consulting for Group Exercise for the last 8 years. As she likes to say, she lives and breathes fitness! In her role with Virgin Active Health Clubs, Emma manages group exercise across Melbourne; she is also a mentor and consultant who is passionate about helping instructors and studios grow and develop. Having been a musical theatre performer in a 'previous life', Emma is grateful to be able to continue embracing and unleashing her inner diva as she presents indoor cycling, and group exercise instructor skills around the globe, whilst at the same time inspiring and educating fellow instructors to be the best they can be.
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Erin Raines
Erin is known for her ability to deliver effective and inspiring choreography, whilst connecting with members to create energetic and inclusive classes. An award-winning instructor based in Auckland, Erin is a club manager at AUT Gym, and mum of two. She has been teaching and managing in the fitness industry for 15 years, and has presented both nationally and internationally.
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Freya Thomson
With a black belt in Tae KwonDo and several NZ titles in Muay Thai, including a spot on the Black Gloves team 2014, it was only natural that boxing and kickboxing style fitness classes are my specialty within my personal training business. It is a style of fitness that I believe everyone can enjoy and I love helping personal trainers gain more confidence and ideas with what I teach.
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Gary Szabo
My Dad was an instructor in the army for several years, I think that’s where it all started, his approach to fitness, to be fit and to stay fit really set the tone for me.
My story with fitness truly begun at the age of 10 when my parents took me to the local swimming club. Getting up five times a week at 4:30 AM to pack my bag and jog to the swimming pool put my mindset into “no-good-thing-comes-easy” mode really quick.
After a few years competitive swimming I turned to Martial Arts and found my inner peace in Jiu Jitsu. It’s been more than 25 years I’m practicing; I can’t imagine my life without it. Ran seminars for the police, special forces of the government and worked as a close combat instructor in the army.
Fun Fact: in 2000 I hurt my back really badly during a fight, doctors’ said I‘m not going to be able to lift or exercise anymore. I remembered that in 2002 standing on top of the podium.
Now we run an amazing outdoor fitness company called Boot It Taranaki. Combination of the army physical training, team building and some HIIT madness. Rain or shine, you’ll find us outside. Love doing it. We also run a free community session every Saturday for those who can’t afford it.
Born and raised in Hungary –under the Soviet occupation, grew up with Kettlebells. Swinging them longer than I can remember. An amazing tool to support so many different goals, there is no other equipment like that. Teaching group classes several times a week, but using it with my corporate clients or youth as well as my elite athlete cage fighters.
I’m a qualified, registered PT, ambassador of the PT Council of New Zealand.
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Hilary Blackstock
Hilary has a passion for seeing people smile and enjoy their movement and finding the best lifestyle hacks to life a life of happiness and vitality.
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Ian O'Dwyer
With over 20 years' experience and 550+ workshops in the health and fitness sector, Ian is considered one of the 'Elders' of the industry. His unique perspectives, innovations and effective applications enhancing the human being, have seen him collaborate with and befriend many of the industry leaders. He is the Director of OD on Movement, a Movement Practitioner and Fitness Professional Education provider that aspires to lead and innovate.
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Jeff Willoughby
Jeff Willoughby owns Studio41 in Wellington, New Zealand. Since 2005, Jeff has been designing fitness courses for health and fitness centers and lecturing internationally on the topics of training and nutrition. Jeff earned a degree in physical education from Otago University and has continued to broaden his knowledge by obtaining nutritional qualifications, such as through the Australasian College of Nutritional and Environmental Medicine, and completing training in functional diagnostic nutrition.
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Jesse Laughton
- PT tutor at NZIHF.
- Owner of Executive Fitness (PT mentoring).
- Wellington ambassador for the PT council of NZ.
Head coach at Artemis Strength (women's powerlifting)

Apart from being very involved in multiple facets of the fitness industry, my drive is to inspire growth in people, whether that be clients, other trainers or anyone with a hand up and a question.

I pride myself on being straight up, genuine and pragmatic in approach. In saying this, I also try not to take myself too seriously - there is enough of that in the industry as it is!

Summing up ones self seems to be odd task, if you would like to connect, or perhaps summarize a judgement on me further, feel free to contact me :)

“Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.”
― Seneca
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John (JP) Polley
John Polley (JP), is a movement therapist and coach, owner of BE FREE movement and wellness in Perth, international presenter and educator, master instructor, industry author and mentor. As a coach, he helps people get more from their movement, whether that be for elite performance or relieve extreme restriction. As an educator, he engages with the myofascial approach to understanding movement, play as a form of exercise, training older adults and the integrated approach to training humans on physical, mental and emotional levels. As a master instructor he works with Power Plate vibration technology and Sandbells, and previously held roles with ViPR, freeFORM, Stroops and Synergy.

His articles through PTA Global attract a worldwide audience and this year his VLOGs have engaged people across the globe. JP also runs movement mentorships both online and live experiences at his studio in Perth.

He is a passionate speaker with a sharp sense of humour, who connects with people at the human
level and forms a collaborative approach to learning and moving. In everything he does, he endeavours to make it both thought provoking and fun, to deliver an educational experience, rather
than just a ‘workshop’.
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Jono Petrohilos
Jono is a qualified Exercise Physiologist, Fitness Australia Personal Trainer and FILEX presenter. He has been in the industry since 2006 and is the currently the director at Fitness Education Online.

Jono’s background is in Bootcamp, when he started in the industry he set a goal to become the best Bootcamp Instructor in the world and over the past 10 years he has run successful Bootcamps all across Australia.

In 2014, Jono founded Fitness Education Online, which is now one of the largest CEC / CPD providers across Australia and New Zealand. He has since taken a step back from running Bootcamp himself and focused more helping other Trainers across Australia and New Zealand grow their Bootcamp and Social Media.

Jono is also the host of a successful Podcast: “The Bootcamp Blueprint: The Personal Trainers Guide to Growing Their Bootcamp and Social Media”. In this podcast, Jono interviews the leading Fitness Industry and Social Media experts in the world (

Jono is also the creator and admin of a very active community Facebook Group – “Fitness Education Online Community Facebook Group”: which has over 5000 members. Jono has team post multiple live videos in here weekly to help give Trainers ideas, workouts and strategies to help grow their bootcamp (

Jono is also in the process of writing a book “4 Secrets to a Successful Bootcamp”
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Kate Riegle van West
Dr Kate Riegle van West is a circus performer, artist, musician, scientist, public speaker, and entrepreneur with a passion for play and wellbeing. She has a PhD in poi (yes, it is possible to be a doctor of swinging a weight on the end of a cord in circles), and is the first person in the world to scientifically evaluate the effects of poi on physical, cognitive, and emotional health in older adults. Her work in the poi/health field won her the Future Leader Award from the Royal Society of New Zealand, and has been featured in the media and peer reviewed journals alike. For more information on Dr. Riegle van West's research, visit
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Kellie Lavendar
Director and Founder NZEDC
Registered Psychotherapist (PBANZ)
Member of the New Zealand Association of Psychotherapists (NZAP)
Member of Australian New Zealand Academy of Eating Disorders (ANZAED)
Faculty Member of the Training Institute for Child and Adolescent Eating Disorders, USA
Certified Family Based Treatment Therapist and Supervisor
Certified Member of the International Association of Clinical Neuropsychotherapy (IACN)
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Ken Baldwin
Ken is an ex military Physical Training Instructor with over 30 years experience in the Fitness Industry, with a vast knowledge of wealth in all areas of training including Group Fitness, Personal Training Club and Studio Management. Ken is a Master Trainer for FAI, ViPR, Schwinn Cycling, BOSU, Twist Conditioning and an Institute of Motion Coach. Ken is the Director and Education Manager for Perform Better Australia, currently working on development of key Functional Aging Programs and development of Kids Active programs.
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Kerry Johnson
A Personal Trainer and Pilates Teacher, - specialising in rehab, pre/post natal, seniors, neurological conditions, wellness, functional movement •GRAVITY Master Trainer •NZ Regional BOSU Master Trainer. Kerry brings a wealth of knowledge, passion and fun ideas to her presentations. With over 19 years experience in the fitness/pilates industry. Kerry enjoys seeing how the ‘fitness experience’ is evolving and improving health and fitness for all. She teaches group fitness, GRAVITY Programmes and pilates as well as running her own PT business - InShape NZ and Pilates & Wellbeing NZ across 3 studios on the Hibiscus Coast of Auckland. “I am passionate about creating a stronger industry in terms of quality of service for our clients, the general public, greater networking, support, education and up-skilling opportunities for all trainers, more job opportunities/ longevity of careers within our amazing fitness industry.”
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Kira Sutherland
Kira Sutherland is an experienced Naturopath and Sports Nutritionist with more than 20 years in clinical practice and lecturing. She is the previous Department Head of Nutritional Medicine at one of Australia’s leading Naturopathic Colleges and is currently completing her Masters in Sports Nutrition. She is passionate about working with athletes of all levels and has a special interest in endurance nutrition as she herself competes in Ironman triathlon. Kira consults with private clients as well as writing and speaking around the world on all things complementary medicine and sports-related and runs an online education platform mentoring other practitioners in holistic sports nutrition.
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Kirsty Nield
Starting her career as a fitness professional in 1999, Kirsty has established herself as one of the leading group fitness instructors and educators in Australia. Having been a group fitness manager since 2009, and a fitness presenter since 2012, Kirsty is committed to creating and delivering challenging, unique and dynamic group fitness classes. She is also passionate about mentoring and educating fitness professionals, sharing the experience and knowledge she has gained during her long and successful career.
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Kris Tynan
With over 30 years’ experience in the fitness industry, Kris now specialises in Older Adult exercise,and chronic conditions under the Exercise As Medicine banner. Based in Christchurch, Kris has run workshops and presented at conferences worldwide including Filex and UK Active.
She sits on the advisory panel of REPs and in 2012 was awarded the Fitness NZ award for outstanding contribution to the industry.
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Kyle Riley
Kyle is incredibly passionate about uncovering human potential. Beginning his career in 2010 as a PT with a degree in Sport and Exercise Science, and understanding the incredible impact lifestyle changes such as exercise can have on health, prompted Kyle down a path of seeking deeper answers as to how humanity can take control of their health and happiness.

This journey has found him working alongside some of the worlds leading health and fitness experts and thought-leaders in the fields of epigenetics and personalised health. And over the years he has been applying his learnings in his roles as an educator at the Australian Institute of Fitness, an international speaker/educator in the field of personalised health and in 1 on 1/group settings.
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Lisa Jurakovich & Brett Fairweather
30 Years in the fitness Industry, I have enjoyed teaching many classes over the years here in NZ and overseas. 1987 NZ Aerobics Champ, 2015 NZ Exercise Industry Award Winner for Group Exercise own Choreography and a NZGPC Bench Record holder are some of my highlights in the fitness industry. I have now done full circle and am back at the barre where i was when i was a child doing ballet! Barre Fitness being one of my favourite classes to teach and now out with the leg warmers and headbands for some old school aerobics too! Yesss lets bring it back come join me for some grapevines, leg curls,step taps and lots of smiles! WOOHOO!
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Lisa Roach
Lisa is a senior conductive educator – a talented and experienced teacher that specializes in teaching movement strategies and skills to people with motor disorders. She has been working in this field for over 20 years in various group and private rehabilitation settings in countries including NZ, Australia, Norway, Canada, and England. Lisa is also a personal trainer, working exclusively with people with disabilities in clinical and mainstream fitness settings. Lisa is the Head Coach and Founding Director of Counterpunch Parkinson’s, an organization that is bringing boxing-based exercise programs lead by accredited coaches to people living with Parkinson’s all over New Zealand and beyond.
Lisa aspires to help as many people with neurological conditions as possible learn to live better and to move better, to develop community based services that are accessible to people with disabilities and that encourage exercise and mobility over a lifetime, to liaise between health and fitness professionals and people with disabilities. She strives to always be developing and learning so that she remains passionate, relevant, capable, and worthy of serving this amazing group of humans in light of most current research and best practice.

Her specialties / areas of interest include:

• Parkinson’s Disease and Parkinson’s Plus conditions
• Multiple Sclerosis
• Cerebral Palsy
• Ataxia
• Stroke
• Acquired Brain Injury
• Dementia
• Other neurological or neuromotor disorders
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Lisa Westlake
Lisa combines her training as a physiotherapist with many years of experience in the fitness world to provide a range of health and fitness programs. She was inducted into Fitness Australia’s role of honour in 2017. Lisa is a highly regarded fitness instructor, author and presenter and has been honoured with many awards including Australian fitness Network’s “fitness professional of the year”, “Presenter of the year”, “Author of the year”, Fitness Australia’s 2014 “Outstanding contribution to the Australian Fitness industry” and Australian Fitness Network’s “Lifetime achievement award in 2016.
Lisa has a created a range of unique classes and programs and is passionate about empowering instructors, participants and the community to understand and enjoy fun, safe and appropriate exercise.
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Luke Sniewski
Made in Poland, born and raised in Southern California, father to a Kiwi boy, and currently rooted down in Auckland, New Zealand. I'm a former professional football player turned Certified Public Accountant, turned personal trainer, turned documentary filmmaker, turned wellbeing coach and therapist.

After years of working with clients utilizing physical modalities such as exercise, massage, and nutrition coaching, I now empower people to empower themselves to live more meaningful lives. I’ve learned that the only thing that gets in the way of – well pretty much everything – is the mind. After years of self-sabotaging and getting in the way of myself, I turned my interests and attention towards my inner world experience in an effort to understand and unravel my subconscious and reactive behaviors.

Something that a consistent meditation practice - and guidance from my many teachers - has taught me is that authentic change begins with silence, stillness, and the courage to look inward. Working through blocked and repressed emotions has required self-compassion, brutal honesty, and Yoda-like patience, but the discoveries I’ve made completely transformed the way I relate to myself, the world, and how I work with people. Presence is the greatest gift you bring into any relationship.

My life’s journey has brought me back to the world of academia. After completing a Post-Graduate Diploma in Health Sciences in Drug and Alcohol Studies at the University of Auckland, I’m now working towards a Doctoral Degree (Ph.D.) in Psychology at the Auckland University of Technology. My research is focused on examining the experiences and effectiveness of mindfulness meditation as an intervention for men with self-perceived problematic pornography use.

Currently, I’m doing my best to stay present with the relationships and experiences in my everyday life.
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Mana Fleming
Kia Ora
Ko Mana Fleming tenei

My main practice is that of Chinese Medicine providing acupuncture and Chinese herbs to those that want balance and health. I have also been a Chinese Medicine lecturer and Clinical assessor and this reinforced the importance of the mind body connection. This has led to me being a Tai Qi, Pilates and Stretch and Release tutor for many years.

I am enjoying observing the Fitness Industry finally catching up with some of the ancient traditions. For example the importance of fascia and how it connects the whole body system. In Chinese Medicine we call it Yang Wei Mai. Look forward to meeting you all.

Nga mihi
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Maria Teresa Stone
Maria Teresa Stone has over 20 years experience in teaching group exercise classes.

In 2007, Maria Teresa became a Zumba® Education Specialist (Master Trainer) for Mexico and in 2009 helped launch the program in New Zealand and Australia.

She has presented at many fitness conventions around the globe in both land and water group fitness formats, and trained over 20,000 Zumba® instructors in various specialties.

Maria Teresa was recently inducted to the roll of honour by Fitness Australia for her contribution to the fitness industry.
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Marietta Mehanni
Awarded NZ Educator of the Year 2016 and FILEX 2018 Presenter of the year, Marietta Mehanni is an multi-award winning Australian presenter with over 29 years of teaching experience in both land and water based group exercise. Marietta is also the World Master Trainer and Education Coordinator for Gymstick International and Pelvic Floor Ambassador for Continence Foundation Australia. She is an advisor to and advocate for Power Music, an exciting platform offering instructors easy access to music and choreography. Co creator of mSwing and My Group Move, Marietta is passionate about developing fun exercise formats that are suitable for all ages and abilities.
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Mark Davis
Mark is a physiotherapist with an extensive background in the fitness industry. He has been involved in the preparation of thousands of fitness professionals in Australia and internationally. Mark is the co-creator of the popular mSwing program which makes fitness fun and accessible to an incredible range of participants. Mark has over 25 years experience in the fitness industry and has developed effective rehabilitation systems for individuals, sports and industry. Mark has presented and worked in program development for Australian Fitness Network, The Children’s Hospital Institute of Sports Medicine and the Australian Institute of Fitness. He has also lectured in undergraduate exercise science programs. Mark is a regular presenter at fitness industry conventions and in 2011 was awarded the prestigious Australian Fitness Industry Presenter of the Year award
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Matt Wood
Matt is an Exercise Science Lecturer at the School of Sport and Recreation AUT and manager of the AUT Millennium Human Potential Clinic, providing clinical exercise physiology services for the prevention and treatment of chronic disease. Previously, Matt provided sports physiology services for athletes, but over the last 10 years has focused on the development of exercise assessments and programmes for the management of chronic health conditions. Matt has a special interest in improving exercise related processes for managing clinical clients in the NZ fitness and medical industries, working with large organisations to improve client care.

Matt’s research interests include a variety of clinical, occupational and sports physiology projects; with a current focus on ways of optimising exercise prescription for cardiac and cancer rehabilitation.
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Megan Schmidt
Megan Schmidt has 20 years experience as a private musculoskeletal physiotherapist. For the last 10 years she has specialised in the area of cancer rehabilitation and was trained as a Lymphoedema therapist in Sydney under the Australasian Lymphology Association guidelines. She has extensive knowledge in treating all cancer related issues and lymphoedema. She has been involved in the development and delivery of international survivorship programs Next Steps and Paddle On and is also involved in teaching physiotherapists for PINC & STEEL International.
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Melissa Billington
Melissa Billington’s hippie parents introduced her to yoga while still in the womb. At age 6 she spent time at Kripalu Ashram, at 16 she began practicing Kundalini Yoga and after leaving the US in 1999 to roam India, she returned to Kripalu for her 200 hour certification in 2002. Although privileged to teach in a number of countries, Aotearoa New Zealand is where Melissa has lived the longest (since 2005) and feels the most at home. In 2008 she opened Powa Centre in Wellington and organized her teachings under the brand MYOGA which stands for Manifest Your Own Greatness thru Awareness, and which was coined with the intention that each person must “own” their own practice. MYOGA’s guiding principle is freedom to unfold. Each practice has been chosen for its efficient and effective ability to cultivate both union and liberation. MYOGA Basics recognize the value of caring for our foundations, while MYOGA Seasons honour the powers and energies within us–our chakras–as well as those without us–the seasons of our natural environment. Additionally, Melissa’s own journey with hearing loss led her to place great emphasis on the healing power of vibration and learning to own and speak Truth, found in MYOGA Sounds. Melissa has certifications in Pregnancy Yoga (2003), Radiant Child (2009), Forrest Yoga Advanced Teacher Training (2016), and has been registered with the Yoga Alliance since 2004. She formulated and led two Yoga Alliance-certified 200 hour teacher trainings, taught on TVNZ’s Good Morning Show and also in the local women’s prison for two years. In 2014 she put most of her teachings online and in 2015 she took a “spiritual sabbatical” to question deeply what has become of the Yoga Industry. While on walkabout, Melissa connected deeply to the welfare of water, women, animals & children.
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Michael Cunico
Michael Cunico is the National Fitness Manager for Fitness First Australia, he is responsible for driving the strategic direction of both Personal Training and Group Exercise departments for the organisation, overseeing a department that includes 2500 fitness professionals. Michael has spent the majority of his career working directly with trainers and instructors to maximise their performance and to positively impact members. He has delivered training to thousands of trainers and instructors globally.
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Mish Wright
Michelle Wright (Mish) is the founder of mishfit and creator of the Women’s Health and Fitness Summit – bringing together world thought leaders to share education and networking in the women’s health space

With a background in education, Mish regularly contributes to magazines and online sites and presents workshops educating women on pelvic floor awareness. She also runs workshops around creating an authentic digital footprint for business owners.

Equally passionate about business and women’s health, Mish is now the Business Development Manager for Curves Australia and New Zealand, where she has created women’s health education to implement throughout the network.

Mish has often had to pop her Big Girls Knickers on to deal with life experiences such as moving countries (four times), divorcing (once), re-marrying and being a mum (four times)
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Nats Levi
Personal Training Manager and DVD presenter for Les Mills. A retired High School Teacher who loves to work out and believes that every individual can find health through movement, nutrition and restoration that is unique to them.
Founder of The Retreat
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Neil Wagstaff
Neil's passion for health and fitness is as strong as his passion for running. Having spent over 22 years in the health and fitness industry helping a variety of clients in sport, gym, corporate and clinical settings Neil is fully committed to getting his clients to run further and faster with less pain and injuries. As a personal trainer and running coach, Neil understands how difficult it is to maintain a regular health, fitness and running routine and what it really takes to make a permanent change and achieve the goals you dream of.
Neil is also an ultra runner himself. He has completed 100km around Lake Taupo, a handful 50km events, many marathons, half marathons, 10km and 5km events.
Neil owns Peak Fitness and Health in Havelock North, North Zealand with his wife Sam and Running Hot Coaching with his mate and business partner Lisa Tamati.
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Nicole Mackes
Nicole comes from Stuttgart in the South of Germany. Living in Christchurch, NZ since 2005, Nicole has 2 boys now aged 9 and 11 and runs her own business ‘7 doors’ where she offers individual yoga sessions and therapeutic massage. Nicole also teaches classes at a collection of yoga studios in Christchurch. Back in Germany she trained and worked as a qualified physiotherapist in a spinal unit within an orthopaedic hospital for 6 years. Nicole worked in an interdisciplinary team focused on the rehabilitation of patients with spinal injuries as well as other neurological and orthopaedic challenges. During these years Nicole learned that the healing journey for every person is very individual and depends on a holistic recovery and rehabilitation where all aspects of the patients health are considered.

After Nicole began her yoga teacher training a lot of these understandings came together for her, as she gained deeper insights in the meaning of unity and synergy between body and mind combined with an integrated wholesome approach to achieve a sense of well-being through the practice. As a yoga teacher Nicole is very passionate in applying and sharing her knowledge about the physical body, including yoga teachings, to facilitate an informed and holistic journey for her students.
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Paul Brown
Known globally as Mr Retention for his ground-breaking work in member retention, exercise adherence and membership growth, Paul Brown is the creator of the Face2Face Retention Systems which are the standard operating procedure for several of the world’s most successful and prestigious health club groups with many millions of success stories to date and growing rapidly. Face2Face was also chosen by IHRSA in 2005 as their only ever endorsed Member Retention Program.

He is an award-winning Keynote Presenter and consultant, best-selling author, successful Health Club Owner, fitness professional since the age of 16 and an accomplished athlete, including national champion in several sports. He is also an investor with a wide range of business and property interests. Perhaps best known as a world-class speaker, Paul has presented at just about every major health and fitness conference around the world over the past 25 years and in 2014 was recognised as the AFN Australian Presenter of the Year.

Paul truly understands the science of fitness along with the wants and behavioural needs of health club members. Combining this with his innovative systems and strategies has made him one of the most in-demand consultants and speakers in the world today, but he says his proudest achievement is his 17 year marriage to wife Jacqui and their twelve year old son Ben who just like his dad is already an avid AFL Footballer and all round sportsman.
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Rebecca Logan
Growing up as the only girl with 3 brothers, I was naturally an active person, this lead me to follow a career pathway around physical activity, specialising in Exercise Prescription.
My passion is for adaptive and inclusive physical activity and I enjoy passing on this knowledge to others.
I have recently left my teaching position at the New Zealand Institute of Sport, after 7 great years, to take on a new role at Sport Canterbury, as Project Leader of the 'Community Strength and Balance Project'.
In my down time I enjoy keeping active, playing Football, running with my dog, Jake, and enjoying the great outdoors that NZ has to offer.
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Rich Ellis
Rich Ellis has worked in the health and fitness industry for over 10 years.
Having worked in and run multiple businesses prior to working in fitness he has a wealth of experience to call on and share.
The principles are the same in small to large businesses. Get the structures right and many of the day to day activities fall into place and are easier to manage.
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Roslyn Ryan
Roz Ryan Fitness Professional and Digital Marketer.
I have had huge successes working with Gyms and PT’s creating great leads and educating them on getting away from using platforms such as Grabone and Groupon. Those two platforms only support the “discount shoppers” not your ideal client! I am regularly completing courses in this space so my knowledge is continually growing to helping my clients.

I have been in the Digital Marketing space for 10 years and my experience is around lead generation, social media strategy and content creation. Instagram is another great platform esp for the Fitness Niche which is becoming very popular but still very underused. I have also been in the fitness space for 10 years.
My passion is to help professionals grow their business using Facebook Marketing
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Shane Way
Shane is a Hamilton based Personal Trainer and Wellbeing Coach. He is also a passionate advocate for the Queer community and fights to normalize and remove stigma from mental health.

Shane built a relationship with physical activity after he discovered the benefits it had on his mental health. After battling severe anxiety and depression for years, he finally found something that helped him to manage it – and that was exercise.

Exercise helped Shane to get his life on track and gave him the motivation and drive to help others do the same. Since then Shane has completed a Certificate in Fitness Industry Training, a certificate in Massage Therapy and a Bachelor of Sport and Exercise Science.

He graduated in 2017 as Class Speaker and was awarded both Personal Trainer of the Year, and the Stuart Mclean Memorial Trophy for Contribution to Wintec.

Shane also won Student of the Year award at the 2016 New Zealand Exercise Industry Awards, and last November won the Up and Coming Personal Trainer award at the 2017 New Zealand Exercise Industry Awards.

Shane is currently a level 3 Personal Trainer at Les Mills Hamilton, Is an Academic Staff Member at the Wintec Centre for Sport Science and Human Performance, teaching on the Certificate and Degree, and is a volunteer for several programme including community Liaison on The Hamilton Pride Committee, a Youth Mentor at Waikato Queer Youth and a Public Speaker for the Waterboy – removing homophobia from sport.

Shane has his own business, Your Way Wellbeing, where he runs his own self-designed movement, mindfulness and meditation programme within the Waikato DHB forensic, rehabilitation, in patient and community based Mental health Services. Part of his business is also organizing and facilitating Seminars and workshops that promote the positive effects of exercise on our mental health
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Suze Cox
Suzanne Cox, BHMS
Suzanne is an Accredited Exercise Physiologist who has worked with a wide range of clients in both clinical and gym environments. She is the Online Learning Coordinator at the Australian Institute of Fitness in NSW. Suzanne is the founder of Absolute Conditioning, an exercise physiology business that specialises in exercise for special population groups, in particular clients with metabolic diseases, cancer, Parkinsons disease and other neurological conditions. She also has a passion in working with children and adolescents to encourage a healthy lifestyle from a young age. Suzanne presents regularly at conferences and to corporate and community groups.
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Tamara Bennett
My passion is to inspire people and give them tools to create their own wellness, and for me to discover and learn new ways to help people do this.
My tai chi & qigong journey began in 1999 for health reasons. My personal journey to wellness inspired me to want to learn, share and help others.
I am an international Tai Chi for Health Institute (TCHI) Master Trainer authorised to train and qualify TCHI instructors for the following programmes: Tai Chi for Arthritis and Falls Prevention (including TCA Part 2), Seated Tai Chi for Arthritis; Tai Chi for Rehabilitation, Tai Chi for Diabetes and Tai Chi for Energy.
Tai Chi for Health programmes are different from other tai chi, as they are scientifically proven to be effective for health and well-being and endorsed by the CDC.
I also teach 13 community tai chi classes in Franklin District south of Auckland.
I'm on the Executive Committee for two non-profit organisations; national Tai Chi for Health Community NZ Inc. and Franklin Health Group Inc.
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Thea Baker
Thea is an energetic and charismatic coach, personal trainer and holistic wellness warrior for all things woman. She started her working life in corporate HR, however life changed up dramatically after having children and moving to Australia.

In 2010 Thea expanded her career to focus on the health, fitness and wellbeing for women at all ages and stages of life. She has brought together her knowledge at experience of working with people and organisations and combined it with her passion for women's health to create her business running from a PT Studio and Coaching Practice in Melbourne. She is currently studying her Masters in Counselling at Monash University to further develop her knowledge and ability to educate and serve women.
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Wendy Sweet
Dr Wendy Sweet is a 30 year veteran of the fitness industry having pioneered personal training in New Zealand and is an award-winning presenter and educator. Her doctoral research on women's healthy ageing and the menopause transition has led her to design and develop online programmes to help women transition through menopause and into improved health as they age. Her 12 week programmes are changing the lives of hundreds of women globally and helping them to reduce the inflammation that is keeping them out of exercise. It is her pleasure to now share her healthy ageing research with attendees at Fitex
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Will Jenkins
Will is a graduate of the Waikato Institute of Technology, New Zealand where he earned a Bachelor of Sport & Exercise Science with an emphasis on Movement Analysis and Injury Rehabilitation. Over the past 20 years he has consulted with a wide range of clientele from the general public, performing arts, elite athletes and teams across New Zealand, U.K. and Australia in sports ranging from swimming, cricket, premiership rugby and British Touring Cars. Will is a lead instructor for Functional Movement Systems (FMS), he is currently based in Auckland, New Zealand working as a personal trainer and educator.