2011 Fitness Industry Award Winners

The winners of awards presented at the 2011 Exercise Industry Awards, together with the judges comments on them, are listed below.







Supreme Club of the Year

Les Mills Extreme, Wellington

Judges’ comments: This club is the epitome of what a New Zealand exercise facility can be.  World class, customer driven, and delivering exceptional results on all levels.






Total Gym – Exercise Studio

Fit Studio, Auckland

Judges’ comments: Fit Studio’s owner has leveraged well from prior experience and profile in a specific target market and created an excellent core product of a 24 hour membership based studio, enhanced by introducing complimentary products and services to the Fit brand.   Clever, considered use of marketing has driven growth and retention to target levels.






Dynex – Club of the Year (under 500 members)

ABSolute Health & Fitness, Dunedin

Judges’ comments: The outstanding membership growth ABSolute has achieved in a very short time since first opening is testimony to the excellent product and services offered.






Club of the Year (501-1500 members)

One Five One Corporate Health Club, Auckland

Judges’ comments: In a very competitive market 151’s team deliver outstanding personal customer service. Relentless pursuit of improvement and close customer relationships drive 151’s dedicated owner operators to ensure every member is treated like a VIP.  A multitude of ‘little touches’ adds up to award winning excellence.







Club of the Year (1500+ members)

Les Mills Extreme, Wellington

Judges’ comments: A culture of excellence pervades Les Mills Extreme across the many products and services that constitute the full fitness package. Clearly there is a commitment to providing an award winning customer experience throughout an expansive facility through astute business practices and engagement with members and community.



Fitnessworks – Innovation Award

Manukau Leisure Services – Krank

Judge’s Comments: Krank is the upper body version of the successful indoor cycling concept.  The innovative Krank technology is presented in a user-friendly product that offers a highly effective exercise option for anyone wanting or needing an upper body fitness workout.  The concept has been well packaged into a programme by Manukau Leisure Services, and will surely be a popular and welcomed exercise modality for many.





APRA / PPNZ – Facility Sight and Sound Award

Les Mills Britomart, Auckland

Judges’ Comments: Sight and sound have been impressively and thoughtfully designed to create the Les Mills Britomart experience. The facility is large, but has an open an inviting feel that no doubt adds to the satisfaction of all members and breaks down the barriers to entering new worlds of fitness. Each space creates it’s own feel, enhanced by specific details such as the spin instructor having full control over detailed lighting and audiovisual effects track by track, from the bike!








HQH Fitness– Up and Coming Personal Trainer of the Year

Catherine Grace, Christchurch

Judges’ Comments: Catherine has worked really well with her local District Health Board and others to achieve success with clients who often suffer from health conditions.  She is social media savvy and has grown her ‘up and coming’ personal training business with very effective target marketing and business practices. As the self-titled ‘Chief of Smiles’ for her brand, ‘Leap Fitness and Motivation Ltd’, Catherine’s personal journey to health provides her with great empathy towards her many grateful clients.





FitnessLife Magazine – Personal Trainer of the Year

Alison Storey, Waikato

Judges’ Comments: Alison has been a fantastic ambassador for the Personal Trainer of The Year award since winning it for the first time last year, clearly showing commitment to not just maintaining a winning standard, but making her personal training practice even better. It is clear Alison wants the best for her extensive range of clients – the results follow for sure. In addition to her profile as a personal trainer in the wider Cambridge community, Alison is known for her generosity of time and spirit, and commitment to helping others achieve a fit, healthy lifestyle.

Note:  As the winner of this category for two consecutive years Alison will be ineligible to enter next year.






Group Exercise – Freestyle

Roxanne Flawn, Christchurch

Judges’ Comments: Choreographing and leading an award winning step group exercise class requires great pre-cueing of impending moves to cater for all levels of participants, in addition to the pre-requisite outstanding energy, enthusiasm and technique. Roxanne was a clear winner in all these criteria!







Group Exercise – Pre-Choreographed

Joshua Dickson, Christchurch (joint winner), Brent Edwards, Auckland (joint winner)

Judges’ comments on Brent Edwards
This is the first year that a Zumba instructor has entered the awards and Brent was one of many Zumba instructors to enter.  Zumba instruction is unique as a group exercise format in that communication occurs non-verbally using body language, energy and expression: aspects our specialist judges agreed Brent demonstrated at award winning level.

Judges’ comment on Joshua Dickson
Joshua teaches with expertise across a range of the Les Mills Group Exercise programmes. Specialist judges who attended Josh’s class commented … “Moves, music and motivation – it was all there – Josh delivered a well scripted and rehearsed class. It was a Star Performance!”




Small Group Training

Ben Whittingham, Whangarei

Judges’ Comments: Effective use of Northland’s beautiful outdoor environment with very well planned and structured sessions is the award winning formula for Ben and his brand, ‘Activ8 Hardcore Outdoor Fitness’.  That Ben refers to his participants as ‘treasured bootcampers’ is a great analogy for the professionalism of the product and service delivered in sessions that are patently delivering results for an avid client base.






AUT University – Gym Instructor of the Year

Penny Cairns, Auckland

Judges’ Comments: Penny’s love of fitness instructing is evident in many ways: grateful and loyal members, peer esteem from her colleagues, and the initiative and enthusiasm she shows for all aspects of her job.  This award is an outcome of all those valued qualities.



Bella- Outstanding Support Award

Yuki Toriyama, Christchurch

Judges’ Comments: The art of ‘floorwalking’ is perhaps one of the most important yet undervalued roles in gyms nationwide.  Yuki is clearly passionate about helping each and every one of his members through helpful advice and a very warm and welcoming manner. Members and colleagues alike praise Yuki for his professional dedication to a job that really makes a difference to customer satisfaction.  The fitness industry needs more Yuki’s!








Horley’s – Community Award

Ryman HealthCare, Christchurch (joint winner)   Arena Gym @ Pettigrew Green Arena, Napier (joint winner)

Judges’ Comments on Pettigrew Green Arena, Napier Building a network of trust between public health organisations and the fitness industry is critical to the future health and fitness of our country.  Pettigrew Arena has achieved such a partnership through the delivery of cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation programmes to patients referred to them by the Hawkes Bay District Health Board. Such symptomatic populations are arguably less likely to access the fitness industry as part of a health plan despite needing the structure and guidance the fitness industry provides so well, in particular Pettigrew Arena!  Testimony to the success of the programme and partnership are the numbers of participants choosing to join the gym after the initial programme.





Judges’ Comments on Ryman Healthcare, Nationwide
The ‘Ryman Triple A’ programme stands for ‘Ageless, Active and Aware’ and is delivered free to over 1500 residents across a network of 24 Ryman retirement villages nationwide.  It’s a substantial and commendable investment made by Ryman Healthcare into the wellbeing of older adults in the retirement village setting, and has paid dividends in terms of enhancing their quality of life.  Of note is that Ryman contracted a network of fitness professionals to deliver the programme, providing another exemplar for effective partnership between the fitness industry and healthcare providers.


Lecturer of the Year

Ish Cheyne, Les Mills International, Auckland

Judges’ Comments: Students, colleagues, subscribers and watchers consider Ish a guru for his communication skills across the many different mediums in which he clearly excels.  Classroom charisma, deep understanding of personal training and timely, insightful educational products are characteristics often quoted by all those whom Ish has inspired, taught, motivated and encouraged over years in the international fitness community.






Peoples Choice Award

Susan Baxter, Dunedin

Note: No judges’ comments on this category as this award was a popular vote.









Skills Active Award – for contribution to workplace education

Helen Chisholm, Whangaparoa

Comments: This award is chosen by the Skills Active management.  The recipient has always promoted workplace training with her staff. Helen has personally completed the assessor workshop and is the assessor of choice for the region. She is a role model to those in the industry in how she is committed and dedicated to training.




REPS Award – for contribution to professionalism and standards

Jean Scott, Christchurch

Comments: The REPs AWARD is open to any business/individual that promotes or supports the growth of professionalism and standards in the exercise industry through REPs. This award is chosen by the REPs Board.
Out of adversity true leaders both form and flourish.  In this case, Jean Scott of Christchurch showed themselves to be both self-less in supporting other trainers in need, as well as a role model for others to follow in rebuilding their business – all while donating hundreds of hours of their own time to help the industry get back on its feet.  The key instigator of PT IN THE PARK, which was an initiative in Christchurch to get both trainers and the public exercising again.






Fitness NZ Award – for outstanding contribution to the industry

Broni McSweeney, Christchurch

Comments: This award is determined by the FitnessNZ board.  This year the FitnessNZ award is being given to a Broni McSweeny, who has had a career spanning almost 20 years in the fitness industry.  From Personal trainer, group exercise instructor, PT Co-ordinator, mentor, facilitator, lecturer, presenter, you name it this person has done it.    But it’s more than what Broni has done, and more about HOW she has done it that has gained the attention of the FitnessNZ board.  This person has worked collaboratively to build a network of like-minded positive people to help grow the industry. When the Christchurch earthquakes hit they were one of the first to be out there helping others.  Finding homes for trainers, matching clubs with trainers, and facilitating free workshops for those whose business was hit.  Using everything from Facebook to bribes of coffee and chocolate, this person really walked the walk when it came to helping others.



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