Entry Categories

The Exercise Industry Awards have a number of categories, for individuals, programmes and facilities that operate in and around the exercise industry. Awards are based on an application process that is reviewed by a judging panel, with finalists and winners announced at a formal awards ceremony.  The ExerciseNZ, YogaNZ, Skills Active awards are chosen by their board/council and are not open for entry. 

Winners in the past have come from a range of backgrounds and each define excellence and success in their own unique way- we invite you to enter yourself or nominate a business or professional you think is doing great things.


The awards continue to grow each year, as does the industry, with the standard and range of entrants, and the calibre of winners proving that the exercise industry is doing well. People and organisations who have entered have commented that “the awards have been a great opportunity, even just filling in the application made us think about our product and how we want to differ from others”. Just as the industry changes, the awards categories and criteria have evolved over the years, to accurately reflect the range of facilities, trainers and services, big and small across NZ.

Entry Requirements

General Information: 

  • Nominations are not required  – you can enter directly by clicking the Enter links (during the entry period). Note: If an Individual or Facility wins the same award category two years in a row they are not able to enter that category in the following year.


Stage 1

  •  Simple questions, recorded videos and submission of basic information.

Stage 2 

  • Facilities: Entry questionnaire, submission of facility data and evidence, NPS Survey sent to customers, third party feedback, mystery shopper/site visits.
  • Individuals: Entry questionnaire, submission of relevant data and evidence, video submission, third party feedback.
  • Other categories: Entry questionnaire, submission of relevant data and evidence, third-party feedback.


  • Facilities: Interviews, mystery shopper/site visits, third party feedback, facility and service spot checks and live judging.
  • Individuals: Entry questionnaire, submission of relevant data and evidence, video submission, third party feedback.
  • Other categories: Interviews, mystery shopper, third-party feedback, service spot checks.


Facility Categories


Chain/Group Facility of the Year: This category is for facilities where the operation is part of a larger chain or group but there is some management control within the business, as well as central support.
Franchise Facility of the Year: This category is for facilities where the operation is part of a franchise – where management and control is set from a head office and/or central system.
Independent Facility of the Year: This category is for facilities that is a stand-alone business where management and system are within the facility structure with no external support from a related chain or other businesses that operate under the same/similar name.
Studio Facility of the Year: This category is for small PT studios, specialist facilities or businesses: Eg Mindbody Studio, PT operation, Specialist services (inc Rehab and allied health as long as the main service is exercise based).   In studios with membership (a set price for ongoing service), there is a maximum of 500 members or clients at the time of entry.


Programme Categories


Programme Excellence Award* Open to any individual or organisation delivering a comprehensive, structured programme involving exercise, nutrition or other lifestyle interventions and client support for an extended time period. The programme may be face to face, online or a combination of both. Can include a programme that participants complete individually, or as a group.
Community Contribution Award# Open to organisations.  The emphasis in this category is that exercise participation is encouraged in a population that would normally find such exercise difficult to access (may include low/no cost options, services for groups with special exercise requirements or outcomes). Must have been operating for a 12mth minimum period. The Community Contribution category can only be won once. Groups or chains cannot enter different branches with the same programme in future years.


Individual Exercise Professionals Categories


PT of the Year* This category is for experienced trainers offering an excellent service for their clients and running a successful PT client base. Open to any personal trainer (working as either as a contractor or as an employee).
Up and Coming PT of the Year* Open to any trainer or personal trainer who has been working, as either a contractor or employee, for less than 2 years at the time of the closing date of stage 1
Group Trainer of the Year* Open to any trainer providing group training style sessions.  (Group training involves a small group following a set series of activities and structured programme. e.g. ‘bootcamp’. Trainers working with larger groups are welcome as long as trainer/ participant ratios are managed).
Outstanding Support Award* Open to any individual working in a support role in an organisation or facility. Can be in an employed or contracted role.  Entrant may be in admin, management or customer support role, the defining factor of the category is that the entrants work supporting those who work on getting people active.
Outstanding Leadership Award This category is for those working in the exercise industry who are going above and beyond, showing leadership and supporting growth through professional development, industry support or education. This category is for you if you lead a team, contribute to industry growth or have been involved in a project that has resulted in significant improvement to the lives of NZers.
Group Exercise Instructor of the Year – Pre-choreographed* Open to any group exercise instructor teaching any style of group exercise that is pre-choreographed (i.e. the choreography is pre-set by someone other than the instructor).
Group Exercise Instructor of the Year – Own Choreography* Open to any group exercise instructor teaching freestyle group exercise classes based in an exercise business or independently (i.e they are responsible for the structure and choreography of the classes).  Includes land and water-based instructors and mindbody classes including Pilates.
Yoga Teacher of the Year** This category acknowledges Yoga Teachers within exercise facilities, studios and independent settings who integrate both body and mind practices into their sessions, offering students a holistic experience of wellness.
Educator of the Year^ Open to any person who supports exercise professionals in either a lecturing, training or mentoring role. The role may be at qualification level or in ongoing education. Includes non-NZ based entrants but they must be working in New Zealand, and have made a significant impact on the NZ Exercise Industry.
Student of the Year* This category is by nomination only (by the students’ REPs registered education provider).  The student must complete the entry process once they are nominated.  The student must be studying (full or part-time) at a REPs Registered Initial Training Provider within the award year.

Special Awards Categories


Entries in these categories are not possible, however, you can nominate someone to be considered by the applicable organisation.

ExerciseNZ Award This award is open to any individual or organisation, recognising their outstanding contribution to the industry.  This award is chosen by the Exercise New Zealand Board.
REPs Award The REPs award is presented to a role model that reflects the ethics and values of exercise professionals/facilities in New Zealand.
Skills Active Awards

All winners are nominated by Skills Active staff and the winners are selected by the Skills Active Senior Management Team.

– Manukura Award – for an individual

– Te Iti Kahurangi Award – for an organisation

Yoga New Zealand Award This award is for Outstanding Contribution to the Yoga Community.  The winner is  determined by the YogaNZ Yoga Council.

Entry Requirements and Other Information


Key to Symbols:

For each category marked with a special symbol, the following entry criteria apply

*  REPs Individual registration is required

** YogaNZ or REPs Yoga Teacher registration required

# REPs registration may be required depending on who delivers the exercise advice

^ If the entrant runs courses, the course must be a REPs approved CPD / Initial training provider. REPs individual registration is also required for any entrant who also prescribes exercise to the public (e.g. the entrant is a PT as well as an educator).


Please Note:

  • Entry into the Awards is a staged process, with judging occurring at each level, the specific entry requirements are listed above.
  • All entrants are notified if they have been selected for the next level with details of next steps required.
  • All categories require a formal entry from the individual or person within the facility/ program.
  • Nominations are to let you know someone thinks you should enter – only actual entries are considered as finalists/winners.