Winners of the 2022 ExerciseNZ Awards presented on Saturday 26 November 2022 can be found below along with the judges comments. 


General photos of the evening can be viewed here.

For Winners. – Please click photo to see the full sized image. 


Education, Support & Programme 

Educator of the Year 

David Liow

Dave’s strength as an educator is his authenticity and insatiable quest for learning. His passion for what he does leapt out at the judges; adding the extra cream to his world-class content across a variety of settings. Dave has carved out a path in life that was clearly made for him.

Programme Excellence Award

She Moves Fitness Collective

Renee and Jenna present their programme very professionally and have worked hard to connect effectively with an educated team of dedicated health professionals.  This coupled with their strategic marketing strategies, innate drive, and evolving programme products makes this a safe and welcoming community for all new Mums.  

Community Award

Access and Inclusion Programme at Franklin Pool and Leisure

There are so many advantages to be had by collaborating and fostering relationships with community organisations and this group are exemplars of that kaupapa. They have gone above and beyond to ensure they reach those most in-need, and are able to provide an inclusive, world-class service.

Outstanding Support Award

Craig Coote

Craig’s passion to lead and support from the front is palpable. He brings a wealth of knowledge and leadership expertise that has brought fresh eyes to innovate and promote extraordinary growth for the NRG brand. Fostering collaboration, empowerment and developing tangible, strategic plans are key drivers for the growth mindset he has for this team.

Industry Awards

Te Mahi Ako – Manukura Award

Tony McMahon

Manukura Award goes to an individual in the fitness industry who is held in high esteem. To be a ‘manukura’ you must have the support of people around you, and the people you work with. It is a position of mana.  This award is all about leadership, and how someone’s work ethic reflects how they are regarded and supported by those around them.

Ta Mahi Ako – Te Iti Kahurangi Award

CLM Richmond Aquatic Centre

This award goes to an exercise organisation that is achieving at a high level and supporting professional development for their workforce. Te itiKahurangi is the pursuit of excellence, and is taken from the very famous whakatauki (proverb): “Whāia te iti Kahurangi, ki te tūohu koe, me he maunga teitei.” “Pursue excellence, and should you stumble, let it be to a lofty mountain.”


REPs Award

The REPs special award category is presented to a role model that reflects the ethics and values of exercise professionals and facilities in New Zealand.


Alan Reynolds

This year’s recipient has been a long-standing advocate of REPs registration, standards, and education. He has successfully motivated many exercise professionals to achieve significant wins in their careers by investing in their professional development and qualifications.

Having initially worked in the chemical industry for many years, our recipient realised industrial chemicals wasn’t his dream. A long-time exercise advocate, he became a personal trainer and later a gym manager. His friends and family saw that he was so much happier in his life since he made his career change to the exercise industry.  

Having outgrown the gym manager role, he decided that working in exercise industry education was his passion. WHY? Because he wanted to help people like him, who, when they switched roles, could enjoy meaningful careers, and also be recognised for the skills they bought to this new career. 

When people in our industry are well qualified and supported, they can make a massive impact on everyone they come into contact with – their workplaces, their clients, and their communities. So in recognition of the important and tireless work he does this years award goes to Alan Reynolds.


ExerciseNZ Award

Himan Patel

The recipient is someone that has been involved in supporting the industry for over 25 years – and has contributed on so many levels to the growth of our industry in multiple roles. 

He has been pivotal in so many initiatives –  He was one of the key people to bring the industry conference to life over 15 years ago; something he continues to support to this day. He also drives and supports the ExerciseNZ government strategy.   

He has had multiple roles over the years – a past ExerciseNZ board member, university lecturer, exercise facility manager.  

He is a key person who created the collaboration between tertiary instructions Recreation, Student and sporting bodies to help drive student success- including establishing annual conferences for these bodies to work together.

He is always the first to look at the big picture and how we can all benefit from collaborating.

Individual Awards

Group Exercise Instructor of the Year

Ivan Ho

The JUDGES commented on impressive verbal communication skills, educating on movement execution for class technique, dedication and enthusiasm. A confident performance with authenticity.

Yoga Teacher of the Year

Pooja Maddela

The judges felt that Pooja was deserving of Yoga Teacher of the Year, in reflection of her breadth of knowledge of yoga and its holistic applications to life and wellness, and her ongoing commitment to her own practice, studies, and teaching.

Group Trainer of the Year

Kaori Hughes

Kaori has an amazing well-rounded approach to group training; she supplied videos that were – professional and clear.  She demonstrated strong Kaupapa backed up with evidence.  

Kaori has aligned herself with other allied health professionals and  has shown herself to be a problem solver and has also undertaken solid professional development. Kaori has a maturity above her years evident from both  systems she has put in place, through to her performance in the live judging interview.

Student of the Year

Corban Hall

Corban displayed a great understanding of the requirements to be successful as a coach and trainer, he demonstrated real focus and wisdom in his entry  videos. In his live interview, he talked about the importance of Taha hinengaro for athletes and sports. His experience of playing high level sport and volunteering enable him to already have a wealth of knowledge though he also understands that he needs to learn the soft skills, to do this he needs to gain experience in the industry. We look forward to watching his star rise.

Up and Coming Personal Trainer of the Year

Hannah Worth

Positive and confident through clarity. Hannah displayed a maturity above her years. In her entry she demonstrated empathy and recognised the needs of individual clients. In the videos she provided clear, thorough explanations ,her client was well guided through progressions. Hannah is extremely organised, evidence of clear formatting and systems through documentation she provided as part of her entry. her level of education and dedication to her career is wonderful. She is driven and willing to upskill.

The judges also commented that they look forward to following your career with excitement over the next few years. Congratulations.


Personal Trainer of the Year

Christie Houghton

With 12 years in the industry,Christie works predominantly with women , she states her biggest challenge as a fitness professional is educating ladies around the understanding of their bodies, their physiology, and training them to help them train better. She Connects and collaborates with allied health professionals to find clarity around client needs to work towards results that are best for the client.

Christie uses a thorough pre-exercise screening, takes a Stepping stones approach in early stages of client journey,  offering her new client the ability to  begin training without overwhelming them Christie said “In regard to a client What I’m expecting isn’t always what I get”, I start with honouring the space they are within now. This is done through a traffic light system, Adjustment and pivoting around that space for training is critical. Tuning in and honouring the space of everyone. It’s always about the best results for the client.

Clearly a leader which comes from a place of passion. Communication is key and well established. She is a confident trainer with a great foundation to serve all her client’s needs.

Christies acceptance speech can be viewed here. 

Christie was unable to be with us on the evening so recorded a ‘just in case’ acceptance speech

Facility Awards

Studio Facility of the Year 

#TeamTash Training 

The thorough strategic planning for the business was very obvious with meetings, training and culture. The little things we do in business have big impacts and your Team philosophy exemplifies this. From a commercial perspective, the increase in member yield is more impressive from the judge’s perspective than the growth you have achieved. Congratulations on what you have achieved and this is well deserved. 

Franchise Facility of the Year

Flex Fitness Howick

You measure success with business numbers or KPI’s which remove subjectivity and allow comparisons.  Your comprehensive business evaluation from a numbers perspective made you stand out. As did your genuine member care.  Most importantly, reading your application you were able to demonstrate your core values through your actions and behaviours. This category was close and your community involvement gave you the edge, congratulations.

Independent Facility of the Year

IHF Health Club

Congratulations to IHF who have not rested on their 2021 laurels and continue to improve the experience they are delivering to their members. The induction process for members is thorough and personalised. The obvious positive culture of your team is outstanding which positively impacts the building of community and your standing in the wider community. Congratulations on your growth and you’re a deserved winner based on your performance standards.

Chain Facility of the Year

Tepid Baths

Tepid Baths takes interactions with members as a critical component to building retention. We loved the use of a software program to monitor interactions and more importantly use that information to change and impact staff behaviour.  We also enjoyed seeing how you meet the needs of your community with programs and services. 

Supreme Facility of the Year

#TeamTash Training

Nearly every gym says “We bring personal connection” to our gym, your application showed that you truly do build that connection. The standout reason for awarding you the Supreme Winner is that you listened to the 2021 awards feedback and then acted on it. The result of this award shows the entire NZ industry that you do not have to be the biggest to be the best. A focus on improving, delivering and exceeding member expectations is more important that the size of the gym. #TeamTash Training is a facility that showed exceptional growth, they have a passionate team and a genuine desire to excel.