Skills Active winners announced at the exercise industry’s glittering night out

November 26, 2018

Skills Active has recognised some of its star performers in the world of fitness, at the New Zealand Exercise Industry Awards in Auckland, hosted by Exercise NZ.

Each year, Skills Active sponsors two awards recognising an individual and an organisation making a difference to people’s wellbeing through the medium of exercise, and using industry training to support their work and the work of others.

Napier’s The Lab Training Centre, and its co-owners Patrick and Theresa O’Brien (pictured above) received the Te iti kahurangi Award. This award recognises an organisation that engages with on-job training to support staff and promote qualifications and professionalism in the exercise industry.

1808 Gillian


Gillian Christian, group fitness instructor and Skills Active assessor (pictured above), received the Manukura award. This award recognises someone in the exercise industry who leads and influences other, supports qualifications through industry training, and achieves great things with the backing and respect of those around her.

Also celebrated at the awards was Skills Active Apprentice of the Year Mark Hurdle, who is a regional director of fitness with CityFitness, and who also won a Fitex award on the night, in the category of Educator of the Year. Skills Active’s own board member Wendy Sweet was also a finalist in this category.

“All our award winners are people who have creativity and passion, believe in the power of exercise to increase health and happiness, and are motivated by the principle of service to others,” says Skills Active chief executive Dr. Grant Davidson.

“These are people who work hard not just to excel in their profession, but to encourage others in the field, and spur them on to achieve great things.”

Dr. Davidson says Skills Active heartily congratulates Patrick, Theresa, Gillian and Mark – and all of the night’s winners.

It’s worth noting, he adds, that of the finalists in the awards, 26 have engaged with Skills Active Aotearoa’s qualifications, either as workplaces, trainees or assessors.

“That level of penetration reflects how well the on-job training model works for this industry, as a means of upskilling and advancing some of its most successful people.

“We are very excited to play a supporting role for this incredible industry, and it was wonderful to be there on the night to see our winners being acknowledged for their achievements.”


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, 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.