Introducing Your Regional PT Ambassador

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;

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 practicing 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:

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 rehabiliation.

“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.”

Vicki Zumbraegel – Based in ChristchurchVicki

Vicki is a Personal Trainer and a Registered Nurse with 33 years of nursing experience. She has a post graduate in Primary Health Care in the community which is perfect for her core business “Pelvic Floor Matters”. She experienced pelvic floor health issues herself which allows her to connect well others on this taboo subject whilst trying to bring this to the forefront of women’s health and wellbeing.

She has been a Personal Trainer for 2 years and from the start of her fitness career she has shown her passion for the industry and has been involved in it even during her training. She has her own home based studio personal training business.  In 2013 and 2014 she was a FitEx finalist for PT student of the year and Up and Coming Personal Trainer.

“I am a PTC Ambassador because I want to be able to help grow the fitness industry. I had the pleasure of being part of the PT council at a very early stage of my PT career and genuinely believe that having support helped me flourish in my business and in the industry. I would like to reach out to the “newbies” and grow and support them too. To show them that is more than a “council”. I love connecting others and sharing resources that will enhance their career and business. Like nursing, I believe that there is a need for professional standards of practice in Personal Training and supporting others to feel comfortable in sharing their experiences and knowledge to grow our community.”

Contact email:

Canterbury 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-LauderDi 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 being witness to 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:

Nelson 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: