Napier’s The Lab growing its fitness whānau through exercise industry training

June 17, 2019

In just a few years, The Lab Training Centre in Napier has become a much-loved community hub, offering fitness, friendship and a sense of belonging.

Now, owners Patrick and Theresa O’Brien are continuing to grow the gym and upskill their team, with a little help from Skills Active Aotearoa, the industry training organisation for exercise.

In a brand new video, Skills Active caught up with Patrick and Theresa to talk about the mission behind what they do, and how they are supporting staff members to broaden their career horizons through on-job training.

“For the past four years, The Lab has been driven by Patrick and myself,” says Theresa.

It’s hard work and it’s also hugely rewarding, she says, to support people who have aspirations to improve their fitness and their overall wellbeing, and to travel with them on that path.

In the case of some gym members with a certain type of passion and potential, those aspirations have expanded beyond getting fit, and they have been hired to join the The Lab team.

It makes sense to bring gym members onboard as employees, Theresa says, “because they understand how we operate, they understand what makes us us, and the uniqueness that we offer our community”.

These newly recruited fitness lovers are now on the road to becoming qualified exercise professionals – completing Skills Active on-job training, with support from Patrick and Theresa.

“I’d highly recommend on-job training to any other business that is thinking about how they can, one, support their staff, and two, grow their business,” Theresa says.

To see the amazing mahi happening at The Lab, check out the video.


Media contact for Skills Active

Esther McLaren

021 195 5127

About Skills Active

Skills Active Aotearoa is the industry training organisation for recreation, exercise, sport and performing arts. We are a non-profit organisation, 50% owned by Māori shareholders, and funded by government to promote careers and workforce development in our industries, work with those industries to create world-class qualifications, and support workplaces to train staff.