Te Mahi Ako Apprentice of the Year competition: Cain: Guiding people through the art of fitness

Published 17 October 2023
A true polymath of his craft, Cain Thomas-Knight boasts nearly a decade of experience spanning the realms of aquatics and exercise.

Cain is one of three candidates for the 2023 Te Mahi Ako Apprentice of the Year Award. This award, now in its eighth year, goes to a highly skilled individual with commitment, passion and diligence, who is working to improve the wellbeing of New Zealanders, through the medium of active recreation, leisure or entertainment.  

Previously having worked in aquatics for seven years, Cain decided to move into fitness and exercise where he works at the Lion Den’s gym in Stratford. Here, Cain’s job includes member support, personal training, class delivery, programming and the delivery of initiatives/projects for the community. Cain said that completing the qualification and the nature of on-the-job training really “suited my lifestyle...working at my own pace...I also had great support from my RLA (regional learning advisor) who helped point me in the right direction for what qualification would suit me best”.  

When asked what Cain’s favourite part of the job is, he said “I genuinely like helping people reach their potential with strength, hypertrophy and general fitness - I approach each client as an individual and get a lot of satisfaction by teaching sustainable, healthy and long-term approaches to training”.  

Cain’s colleague Dane can’t speak more highly of Cain and notes that “completing the apprenticeship and obtaining his credentials has significantly boosted Cain’s confidence when working on the gym floor”.  

Cain is grateful for the qualification as it has allowed him the confidence to coach and impart his knowledge on others; something he is very passionate about.  

In the next five years, Cain’s goals are clear: “I want to become a CPPS certified coach and work with athletes and sports groups. I’d also like to have a system in place to help others gain on the job experiences and get qualified in the fitness industry, teaching a sustainable approach to fitness rather than selling a product or a quick fix”.  

 About the apprentice of the year award  

The Te Mahi Ako Apprentice of the Year will be announced in November at the Recreation Aotearoa Awards.  

Media contact: Frankie Dale | frankie.dale@skillsactive.org.nz | 021 198 4612 

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.