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Gearing up for a growing fitness industry

January 13, 2020

Five local fitness graduates are living their dreams of being exercise professionals after completing a New Zealand Certificate in Exercise (Level 4 & 5) at EIT Tairāwhiti.

The programmes qualify graduates to work in a rapidly growing industry as health and exercise professionals and personal trainers. This qualification also ensures trainers can register with the New Zealand Register of Exercise Professionals (REPs).

Simon Paenga is now a fully qualified exercise instructor at the Remix Fitness Studio and also works part-time with Dr Willem Jordaan who started the Huringa Pai movement at Puhi Kaiti. Simon felt the need to upskill himself for the diverse range of people he now teaches.

Jessy Beach is also a popular trainer at the Remix Fitness Studio and has managed his studies during the level 4 and 5 programme while still dedicating his time to his clients.

Brian Horwell already has an established mobile personal training business and works alongside local organisations to deliver health & fitness initiatives. Brian completed the level 5 programme to gain a New Zealand qualification and upskill his industry knowledge.

As a mobile coach, Brian is able to take exercise to those who are unable, or lack the confidence, to go to a gym. Ta moko artist Sarah Kane-Matete is diversifying her busy career into health and exercise coaching and Kelsey Hart is a returning student and is going straight into employment as a trainer at the YMCA.

Graduates will be able to design exercise programmes to industry standards, implement exercise options to enhance client performance and work together with allied health professionals.

The EIT programme had set him up well for this, Simon Paenga said. The programme was challenging but their tutor Ashleigh Sheldrake had made it manageable by breaking it down into smaller parts, teaching everyone in their own learning language.

Like Simon, Sarah Kane-Matete would eventually like to specialise in helping people with health conditions or injuries, as well as coaching body building. She recently competed for the first time in the NABBA NZ Nationals where she placed second in Novice Physique Womens’ Short. Sarah has three children and believes exercise is a priority providing herself and her children with a holistic balance in body, mind and spirit.

The Level 5 Certificate in Exercise can be credited towards the Diploma and Bachelor in Exercise Science and Kelsey Hart plans to continue studying towards these at EIT’s Hawke’s Bay campus from July next year. While working at the YMCA, she would also like to train as a Les Mills Body Balance instructor. Her aim is to help people achieve a better quality of life through exercise.