Download The Wellington App for more stories like this.

Wellington personal trainer judged best in NZ

Wellington’s Ngarama Milner-Olsen was named New Zealand’s best personal trainer at the Exercise NZ awards in Auckland on Saturday night.

Ngarama Milner-Olsen (left), New Zealand’s best personal trainer

The Exercise Industry Awards have been recognising excellence in the exercise industry since 2005, awarding those contributing to the health and wellness of New Zealanders through exercise and fitness.

The judges cited Milner-Olsen’s “incredible professionalism”, confidence, outstanding communication and rapport with clients, and focus on her goals.

“Ngarama has a strength and personal power that empowers her clients. She is an inspiration to us all,” they said.

Other Wellington exercise professionals also won awards.

Jase Te Patu (above left) was named best mind body instructor of the year. The judges said he embodied Māori principles and values in his yoga teaching, offering his students a rich philosophical tapestry to practice by.

“He is a leader in his ability to teach from the heart and guide a wide range of people deeply into mind body connection,” they said.

Gillian Christian (above left) received the Skills Active Manukura Award, which goes to a leader or person held in high esteem. This position of mana is a reflection of the recipient’s work and how they are regarded by those around them.

Christian is a prolific assessor of exercise industry trainees for Skills Active Aotearoa. She works hard to support up-and-coming trainees, she is also a mentor and an active exercise professional herself, and she promotes industry training everywhere she goes as a means of stepping up and strengthening the exercise industry workforce.

Community contribution awards went to two Wellington organisations: FXU VIBE for Chronic Illness, for providing life-changing and enhancing exercise solutions in a friendly and professional environment; and Seeding Yoga in Schools, for addressing the growing concerns around children’s physical and mental well-being, and identifying hard-to-reach areas with low physical activity.

CityFitness Willis Street was highly commended for best chain or group facility of the year, a category won by Les Mills New Lynn, Auckland, which also picked up the supreme club of the year award.

The full list of winners are:

Educator, Community and Delivery Awards
Educator of the year: Mark Hurdle, Christchurch
Innovation award: Circuband, Christchurch
Programme excellence awards: Farm Bootcamp, Canterbury
Community contribution awards:

  • FXU Vibe for chronic illness, Wellington
  • Instinctive fitness community work, Rotorua
  • Seeding yoga in schools, Wellington
  • Soaring Words with Zumba: Wilson Home, Auckland
  • Wellbeing: Your Way, Hamilton

Special awards
NZ Register of Exercise Professionals award: Bernadette Smith Christchurch
Exercise Association of NZ award: Jo Clark, Auckland
Skills active – Manukura award: Gillian Christian, Wellington
Skills active – Te Iti Kahurangi award: The Lab Training Centre, Napier

Individual awards
Group exercise – pre-choreographed instructor of the year: Kelly Hadwin, Auckland
Group exercise – own choreography instructor of the year: Roxanne Flawn, Christchurch
Mind body instructor of the year: Jase Te Patu, Wellington
Small group trainer of the year: Reece McCaffrey, Christchurch
Student of the year: Olivia Bradley, Masterton
Outstanding support award: Kate Maxwell, Christchurch
People’s choice award: Julie Bish, Auckland
Up and coming personal trainer of the year: Kelly MacDonald, Auckland
Personal trainer of the year: Ngarama Milner-Olsen, Wellington

Facility awards
Studio of the year: Studio Glow, Hamilton
Studio of the year: highly commended, Adapted Yoga and Pilates, Christchurch
Franchise facility of the year: Anytime Fitness Cashmere, Christchurch
Independent facility of the year: Ironhood Fitness, Christchurch
Chain / group facility of the year: Les Mills New Lynn, Auckland
Chain / group facility of the year – highly commended: CityFitness Willis Street, Wellington
Supreme club of the year: Les Mills New Lynn, Auckland