2020 Categories

In the 2020 Exercise Industry Awards we have a range of categories that reflect the diversity of facilities, organisations, programmes, and professionals.

2020 Changes:

  • All categories acknowledge work in both the virtual and ‘live’ environment.
  • The Group Trainer category now reflects that PTs often work with larger groups in the group training format.
  • Up and Coming Personal Trainer reflects the wide role a professional has in their first years in the industry, not just limited to PT.
  • We celebrate our Yoga community with a specific category.
  • Pilates and other mindbody teachers now are part of our group exercise categories.
  • The Programme Excellence category now covers programmes that do not have a set start and end date.
  • The Innovation category now includes individuals who are innovating in their chosen area of expertise.
  • Exercise instructor category added for those who work/are employed in an exercise environment, supervising and writing exercise programmes.



Stage 1:

  • Simple questions, and submission of some basic information.

Stage 2:

Site visits and mystery shoppers will occur if Covid-19 levels allow.

  • 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.


Site visits and mystery shoppers will occur if Covid-19 levels allow.

  • Facilities: Interviews, mystery shopper/site visits, third party feedback, facility and service spot checks.
  • 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.


Click to skip directly to the section you wish to see specific information on:

Facility Awards             Individual Awards           Programme Awards          Special Awards          Entry Requirements      Timeline

Facility Awards 

Chain/Group Facility of the Year: Facility 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: Facility 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: Facility 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: 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.



Individual Exercise Professionals Awards 

Personal Trainer of the Year*:  Open to any personal trainer (working as either as a contractor or as an employee).

Up and Coming Personal Trainer 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).

Exercise Instructor*: This category is for those who work/are employed in an exercise environment, supervising and writing exercise programmes.

Outstanding Support Award*: Open to any individual working in a leadership or 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.

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 (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**: An opportunity to acknowledge Yoga Teachers 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. To be eligible to win the student must attend live judging.



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.

Exercise Innovation Award*: Open to trainers and businesses that work beyond the conventional model. This can range from doing something differently, through to a completely new idea or business structure.

Community Contribution Award#: Open to organisations or individuals.  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 other clubs with the same programme in future years.



Special Awards

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

Peoples Choice Awards: Based on nominations the top 10 finalists are decided, they are then invited to submit a profile and photo.   Those who wish to take part are put up for a public vote to decide the winner of the category.  Entry is limited to REPs registered individuals (i.e. organisations, companies or groups of trainers are not eligible for entry in this category).

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 and the Te Iti Kahurangi Award – for an organisation

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Entry Requirements

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 (eg is a PT as well as an educator).

Please Note: 

  • Entry into the Exercise Industry Awards is a staged process, with judging occurring at each level, the specific entry requirements are listed below.
  • All entrants are notified whether they have been selected for the next level with details of next stage process issued to successful entrants.
  • All categories require a formal entry from the individual or person within the facility/ program, a nomination does not automatically mean you are entered.




1 March 2020 Stage 1 Entry open – Entry at stage one is a straightforward entry, with entrants asked some basic questions about their role, programme or facility. – if you have entered previously please note some categories have changed or been adjusted since 2019

Early August 2020  Stage 1 Entries close – Once stage 1 closes our judging team sorts through the entries and selects those to go through to stage 2. The Judging Manager will be in touch if there are any queries related to your entry.

Mid August 2020  Entrants progressing to Stage 2 Announced, and Stage 2 entries open –  The entry requirements for stage 2 are more in depth and require further evidence and information. The entry is online and involves a range of questions and evidence, relevant to the category.

Mid September 2020  Stage 2 – Entries close – The judges start the challenge of working through all the entries in categories. All referees requests are sent. It is not uncommon at this stage for more information to be requested. Mystery shoppers/ third party feedback etc. commence at the close of entries to stage 2 and continue until November 14th.

October 2020 – Finalists announced- Some categories have no further information required from entrants. Group and Yoga categories have a video submission, and Live judging categories attend the event on 20th November. The judging Manager will be in touch if there are any queries or requirements related to your entry.

Live Judging – in 2020 the Live Judging event for PT, Up and Coming PT, Student and Group Trainer categories will not be running.   Instead of individual ‘live’ judging/interviews will be completed at the finalist level in an online format with a panel of judges. 

November 2020 – Awards Ceremony