Exercise advocates recognised with Te Mahi Ako awards at the fitness industry’s big night

Published 29 November 2022
Tony McMahon and Community Leisure Management Richmond were recognised for their efforts to champion skills and education in the fitness sector, with Te Mahi Ako exercise awards.

These awards were presented at last week’s Exercise Industry Awards in Auckland, hosted by the Exercise Association of NZ. At the same time, one of Te Mahi Ako's own staff was also awarded for his longtime contributions to the industry.

Manukura – individual award

Tony McMahon received the Te Mahi Ako Manukura award. Each year this goes to an individual in the exercise sector who carries mana with their peers. It recognises leadership, work ethic and relationship building, and it goes to someone who is contributing to the professionalism of the exercise workforce.

A Te Mahi Ako assessor and owner of Primal Performance in Invercargill, Tony assesses learners both within his region, and nationally. His nominators mentioned his conscientious nature, eye for process improvements, and always going above and beyond to help his learners succeed.

Te Iti Kahurangi  - organisational award

The Community Leisure Management (CLM) team based at the Richmond Aquatic Centre received the Te Mahi Ako Te Iti Kahurangi award. This goes to an organisation in the exercise sector that is supporting its workforce to strive for excellence, through work-based learning.

It was accepted on CLM’s behalf by manager Byron Hull.

“The gym has four exercise apprentices. It prides itself on being community-centred, and facilitates and hosts a lot of community initiatives,” says Te Mahi Ako Learner Support manager Denise Clarke. “Byron is one of our assessors and is committed to upskilling his staff to reach their full potential.”

Industry contribution prize for long-time Te Mahi Ako staffer

The REPs award for contribution to the exercise sector was given to Alan Reynolds, Te Mahi Ako's National Learner Engagement manager, and resident exercise guru. Alan first joined what was then Skills Active, back in 2008, and has been a tireless promoter of work-based learning for fitness professionals.

According to REPs, this special award category is presented to a role model who reflects the ethics and values of exercise professionals and facilities in New Zealand.

"I’m honoured, and accept it on behalf of all those in Skills Active and Te Mahi Ako who also support this great industry," says Alan.

Te Mahi Ako chief executive Maren Frerichs says Tony, Alan and CLM Richmond are examples of the profound impact of the exercise workforce on national wellbeing.

“One highly-trained fitness professional, over the course of their career, will help countless people achieve life-changing health improvements.

“So the people and organisations who support the education of all those fitness professionals are having an exponential effect on the physical and mental health of Kiwis.

“We are thrilled to be able to work with high achievers like Tony, CLM and Byron, and we wish them a hearty ‘ka rawe!’ on their awards.”

Pictured from left: Assessor John Growcott, Tony McMahon, Byron Hull, operations process manager Wanda Hart, Alan Reynolds, Operations general manager Todd Maddock, regional advisor Nick Parke. 


Media contact: Esther McLaren | esther@skillsactive.org.nz | 021 195 5127

Skills Active Aotearoa Group is a not-for-profit organisation, 50% owned by Māori shareholders, supporting capability development in te ahumahi ā-rēhia: the active recreation, leisure, entertainment and events sectors.

Te Mahi Ako is part of the Skills Active group, and supports individuals to develop themselves through real-life learning within businesses, iwi and communities.