Introducing Your Regional PT Ambassadors

Your regional PT Ambassadors are all successful personal trainers and fitness professionals. They are united in their passion to build the personal training business in New Zealand with integrity and credibility which is why they undertake the unremunerated role of being a Regional Ambassador.
They have a wealth of knowledge and experience to share so if you feel they can help you in any way please email them.

jeanJean Scott – Head Ambassador

Jean is one of Christchurch’s best known and most experienced personal trainers. She is a leading group fitness instructor at Les Mills specialising in RPM and Pump and runs her own successful personal training business from her home.

Jean was a finalist in Lifefitness’ 2013 Personal Trainers to Watch and a finalist 2012 in the NEXT women of year ( NZ sports category). She also won the NZ group fitness instructor of the year in 2011 and won the special REPs award for contribution to professionalism and standards to add to her 2005 Personal Trainer of the year award.

She is also mother which means she understands first-hand the challenges of juggling a family with the demands of a PT career. In her spare time she engages with others by doing charity and voluntary work within her local community.

“My role as a PTC Ambassador is to enhance the lives of the trainers I come into contact with by helping them to recognise opportunity, to empower them to believe in their potential and create a community where leaders share, engage and support each other. My vision for the Canterbury / Westland region of the PTC is to grow the awareness of the PTCouncil by connecting with others and encouraging likeminded professionals to inspire, learn, grow and develop from each other”.

Contact email:     Canterbury Facebook Group

Hilary Blackstock – Mentor Manager


Hilary (Hils) lives in Taranaki, New Zealand with her partner and 2 young boys and dog. She is the director and trainer at Playfit a business aimed at making movement fun.  She has also just written her first book, a wellness journal titled Project You.

She is passionate about getting people moving, in a way that makes them smile and fits their lifestyle.

Hilary studied for a Bachelor of Physical Activity in Otago before working as a group exercise instructor of small and very large groups, aqua instructor, PT and studio owner. She has been an active member of the NZ Personal Trainers Council since 2009 and has recently started speaking to small and large groups about the joys of play and movement and making wellness accessible to everyone

Smile more, move more, love more

“I am so excited to be looking after the mentor scheme for the PT Council, so if you are keen to have a mentor to offer fresh insight and ideas to grow yourself and your business, or if you have skills you would like to share with other PT’s please email me”

email Hilary at;

Nikki Williams- Based in Auckland

Hello, I am Nikki.  Originally from UK,  I have been in glorious New Zealand for 10 years and the fitnessunnamed (3) industry for 28 years.  Group Exercise was my first love and I have been a personal training in West Auckland for 2 years after requalifying with Skills Active in 2015 (first PT qual was in UK 20 years ago!).  Yes I have been around a bit and even now I have contracts at a few venues around Auckland for group exercise & PT and I love the variety it brings.   It keeps me on my toes teaching to different client bases and adapting my instruction techniques to ensure the message of health and wellbeing comes across loud and clear.

I became a PTC Ambassador because I know as a contractor/small business owner, you can spend a lot of time working IN your business.  I found the meetings, contact and networking with other local PTs, and the wider NZ community, to be very enlightening, educational, supportive and extremely helpful.  Committing to looking beyond your own client base can really grow you and your business.  Taking time to work ON your business is powerful, the PTC is one such opportunity available to us. I wanted to be a part of this process and stepping into the ambassador role means live my mission to help people live healthier and happier lives, by helping the personal trainers who makes this so for many, many people!

Contact email:   Auckland Facebook Group

Emma Goldstraw- Based in Auckland

I’ve previously worked in the hospitality industry with 12 years of management experience in various different types of venues managing small and large teams. I studied my personal training certificate at AUT in 2015 and started building my client base from September while working full time, in June 2016 I took the leap of faith and jumped into being a full-time personal trainer and running my own small business. This has been one of the most exciting and terrifying things I have ever done. I’ve made what was my hobby and passion into my career and love it. Working self-employed I miss the team element and that’s what has drawn me to the PTC, a forum where I can bounce around ideas, share strengths and knowledge with like-minded individuals going through the same things. I would love to be part of a community of fitness professionals who are improving the standards of our industry. Myself and Nikki’s current intention is to grow the Auckland Facebook page to 350 people by November and increase numbers of attendees at the bi-monthly meetings. 

Auckland Facebook Group

Gary Szabo- Based in Taranaki_HUN2811

Hi, my name is Gary, I’m a qualified Personal Trainer, I run an amazing outdoor fitness company called Boot It Taranaki. Combination of the army physical training, team building and some HIIT madness. Rain or shine, you’ll find us outside. Love doing it. We cater for all age, size and fitness levels. We also run a free community session every Saturday for those who can’t afford it.
I also compete and teach martial arts, mainly Ju Jitsu and MMA (mixed martial art), I’ve been practising since 1993.
I am a PTC Ambassador because I’m really passionate about getting regular people off their couch and getting them fitter than they ever imagined. I believe if we trainers all work together, we can make a huge difference in the shape of NZ.

Contact email:   Taranaki Facebook Group

Michelle Anderson – Based in Tasman/ Malborough Region

I graduated with a Bachelor in Physical Education and whilst in my first teaching job completed a Michelle AndersonMasters Degree in Sport Science. I have always mastered in the psychology route in both degrees and still have a big passion in this area and what our minds can do (and don’t do!) for us.  I have taught PE and Health for 19 years before getting my PT qualifications and setting up as a PT.  I have my own business EnergiseYou and it is in its fourth year of operation.

I am a PT ambassador because I am passionate about wanting people to live life to the fullest and reach their true potential for a happy and healthy life!  My business motto is Get Fit. Eat Well. Live Life and I try to live by that motto as much as I can.  Movement helps us feel good, gives us energy and vitality and has a positive knock on effect in other areas of our life and well-being. It empowers us as humans – which in turn help us work towards our goals, visions and dreams.

My mission is to empower people to be able to live a life that they dream of.

Contact email:    Tasman/ Malborough Facebook Group

Renee Riley – Based in Tasman/ Malborough Region

 My name is Renee Riley. I have had my own Personal Training/Small Group Training business for over unnamed (5)5 years now and am loving providing a very popular service for my community. I have gone from running a couple of circuits at the local school and doing PT out of my garage, to running 13 classes per week with a full PT schedule, mentoring new trainers to the industry, creating a gym at an old hall and now employing other trainers to help take my classes. Last year I was super excited to win Exercise NZ Small Group Trainer of the year and a Community Excellence award. I love seeing and influencing more and more people to change their lifestyle and shift their focus to being able to live a longer, full, fun, balanced and happier life. Lately, I’ve been shifting my Personal Training more towards rehab work, alongside a physiotherapist, which I’m finding extremely rewarding.

Being in Golden Bay the biggest challenge was that I felt I was alone in the industry, being so isolated. I’m very excited to be getting more involved in the PT Council, to connect with other trainers in the region.

Tasman/ Malborough Facebook Group

Karina Ormsby – Based in Hamilton

Karina is a mobile trainer in Hamilton who focusses on teaching people to enjoy moving and allowing themselves time for their own health and fitness.

She is passionate about empowering people with the tools to make positive changes in their lives to enhance their physical and mental health. She enjoys challenging individuals to do more than they thought they could, achieve goals and be more than who they see they are.

Currently completing her postgraduate studies Karina also has a strong interest in final-phase injury rehabilitation.

“I have become involved with the PT Council as a means of networking with other trainers, creating opportunities for trainers to develop their skills and ensure we are providing our clients with the best possible service and results.”

Nick Read – Based in Hamilton

Hi, my name is Nick Read. 

I’ve been involved in Sports, Health & Fitness for the past 10 Years in a variety of different roles. 

These include playing Rugby League professionally, Personal training, coaching, and Strength & Conditioning. I’m currently working as the Health & Fitness Manager for Sport and Wellbeing at the University of Waikato. I’m extremely passionate about holistic well being and the continued pursuit of self-improvement. I love that Physical activity can be used as the vehicle for happiness – “you’re only one workout away from a good mood.”

My goal is to help grow leaders in the Health & Fitness industry and uplift the standard of delivery at the coalface. I became a PT ambassador because I want health and happiness to be the norm, not the exception.

Waikato Facebook Group

David McHugh – Based in Hamilton

Hi there, I’m Dave and I have been part of the fitness industry for the past 9 years. I became involved with a multiple sclerosis group while  I was at university. This gave me the knowledge and passion I needed to change the structure of my degree, where I decided I would like to help people change their lives for the better.

I am currently the Head Coach at Cityfitness Hamilton, which means I PT full time and also help bring on and develop new and experienced trainers. This can be in different areas ranging from the basic’s of coaching through to the business side of PT. Also, I am a roving assessor for Skills Active New Zealand, where I assess various tertiary qualifications for different facilities around Hamilton.

I became involved with the PT Council because I truly believe that as trainers we can have a network of trainers who are interested in professional development and in coming together to share ideas. This will allow us to become better at what we do and to stay within the industry longer. We all know this is a brutal industry for burnout and turnover, but it is also one of the greatest jobs you can have, when you get to positively impact somebody’s life!

Contact Email:     Waikato Facebook Group

Di Lauder – Based in Queenstown 

Di is a personal trainer, run coach, NutriFit consultant and occupational therapist. She has worked as a PT for 6 years, predominantly out of her private home studio, but also outdoors with groups in parks. She also has 15 years experience as an occupational therapist specialising in mentoring allied health workers, team leading and providing stress management and effective communication skills programmes.
In 2008 she won Catch Fitness Best New PT and in 2010 Best Female PT.
Di recently moved to Queenstown with her family and enjoys being outside in the fresh air; tramping, biking, running and trying her skills at a very new sport, skiing.  She loves encouraging professional networking, and inspired by the PT industry in CHCH, has established PT network meetings in Queenstown and aims is to develop a proud and strong regional network group.

“I am a PTC ambassador because I want to enhance excellence with professional service delivery to the clients and the wider health and fitness community.

I aim to further develop a strong network of passionate trainers and leaders who will openly support, educate and inspire one another to grow strong industry standards and successful businesses within the Central Otago community”.

Contact email:     Queenstown Facebook Group

Jesse Laughton  – Based in Wellington

Jesse LaughtonHi there, My name is Jesse and my passion is witnessing others personal growth. I’ve been a  personal trainer for the last five years and was a finalist at last year’s Exercise Industry Awards. Moving forward I hope to inspire change and growth within the new faces of personal training.  We live in an age where information has never been more available which is great. However it also creates a problem; what should we believe, which nutritional guidelines do we get our clients to follow and should I foam roll my IT or just my TFL? For people new to the industry it can be a daunting experience, and what really helped me when I started was a mentor I could relate to, someone to guide me to success in helping others.

Being the Wellington Ambassador it is my personal mission to provide clarity within the industry. I want to help anyone who wants to grow as a coach/ leader. I want to break down barriers in order to get trainers networking more and helping each other!

I am currently in the process of opening my own strength based studio (I compete in power lifting) and also teach group fitness (core classes). My Hobbies include most outdoor activities and dancing.

I look forward to meeting as many people as possible, so don’t be afraid to say hello! Together we can change the health of our nation.

Contact Email    Wellington Facebook Group

Freya Thomson – Based in Palmerston NorthFreya

“I have been working as a personal trainer for 5 years at the Massey University gym. Over the last few years I have been working with new Sport Exercise graduates to help build up their business and get them started in the profession. Previous to Massey I was working as a PowerPlate trainer which got me interested in training people with degenerative diseases such as MS. I now work with clients with a wide variety of goals and abilities, as well as regular Kick-fit classes. I juggle my work as a trainer with my own training for Muay-Thai which I am a NZ title holder and representative.
I am a PT ambassador because in order to help more of the community I believe trainers need to work together and support each other in their strengths. I cannot change the health within the community without the collective help of the other local trainers.”

Contact email:  Manawatu Facebook Group

Neisha Brooking  – Based in Bay of PlentyNeishaBrooking_BOP_ProfileImage

After many years of working with people in diverse professional settings Neisha is relatively new to this industry. In need of a new challenge, she studied for her certification in Personal Training in 2012 through Auckland University of Technology and was fortunate to move immediately into the role of Personal Trainer and Assistant Manager at Jetts Fitness Whakatane.  In 2013 she was nominated Assistant Manager of the Year Central Region at the Jetts Fitness New Zealand Awards.  She now coaches clients from her own studio in the sunny Bay of Plenty and runs the business operations and management of the family contracting company that she shares with her partner Craig.  Neisha is passionate about education and the future of Personal Training.  She has represented New Zealand in Judo and Bodybuilding and enjoys sharing her experiences about the benefits of exercise with others.

“I am a PTC Ambassador because I believe it is important for Personal Trainers to maintain professional standards and stay up to date with current practice models. By becoming involved with the PT Council I look forward to establishing a network of like-minded individuals who can empower, educate and support each other in the development and growth of their Personal Training Services and who are committed to maintaining a high standard of professional conduct.”

Contact email:    Bay of Plenty Facebook Group

Greg Mawson – Based in Hawkes Bay

Grego photoshoot

‘Grego’ brings a unique skillset to his personal trainer business, contracting to a gym in Napier. Out of school in ’94 he qualified as a professional chef, cooked for over six years before moving into an IT based career for over 16 years.  During this time he was involved in two IT start-ups and developed the skills required of a personal trainer out of this; sales, patience, coping under pressure and focussing on the end result.  He also he enjoyed the direct contact with people and realised the value they bring to your life.  Grego led himself down an unhealthy road where he ended up at 36% body fat and potential liver damage.  After yo-yo-ing for several years, 2007 he decided to change his lifestyle and lost over 30kg’s in 26 weeks which led him to the bodybuilding stage.  He has competed well over 30 times including representing New Zealand Internationally through the INBA natural bodybuilding federation.  With this complete transformation, friends and family were asking “what’s the secret”.  He realised Personal Training was his “calling” so studied hard and qualified as a personal trainer in 2012 and never looked back.

I am a PTC Ambassador because I live by the mantra “You really can have everything in life you want, if you’ll just help enough people get what they want”.  By lifting up others you also lift yourself up.  I am passionate about helping people achieve their goals including fellow Personal trainers and those up and coming in study.  I enjoy meeting people, networking and keeping myself at the forefront of science and how the health and fitness industry is always in a constant change.

Contact email:    Hawkes Bay Facebook Group