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Source: Eastern Institute of Technology – Tairāwhiti

12 mins ago

Personal trainer/fitness instructor Simon (Sye) Paenga at Remix Studio, Gisborne

After nearly a decade as an established performer, singer and dancer, Whangara man Simon(Sye) Paenga left show business to pursue a career in fitness and well-being.

With his eye on the goal, he completed the New Zealand Certificate in exercise Level 4 and 5 at EIT Tairāwhiti last year. Now he is working as a personal trainer/fitness instructor at Remix Fitness Studio and Huringa

Pai Whānau Fitness.

He has been busy since COVID-19 arrived and the country went into lockdown. Turning to online like many frontline businesses, he developed online lockdown challenges that went viral.

“COVID-19 has been a very trying time for a lot of people, but this didn’t stop me from reaching out to whānau. With my background in performing we developed online home workouts for whānau, and these went viral completing a 28 Day Lockdown Challenge with

Huringa Pai reaching more then 3000 people all over the world.

“I also had online daily workouts and a 10-day challenge with Remix which kept me busy over the four-week lockdown period. It was awesome being part of everyone’s daily routines for a month and this held me accountable while supporting everyone to keep active and heathy.”

He credits much of his success to EIT Sport & Exercise lecturer Ashleigh Sheldrake who tutors on the New Zealand Certificate in Exercise at EIT Tairāwhiti.

“She is such an awesome tutor and she really breaks all the elements of exercise and training down for each individual. She is very adaptable, supportive and has worked in the industry for years. She has the knowledge and teachings to go with it, so why not learn from one of the best?” says Simon.

Completing the course also opens doors to work and connect with other exercise and health professionals which help build a network.

The former Lytton High School student left home to pursue his first passion in 2008.

He graduated from the National Academy of Singing and Dramatic Arts school (NASDA) in 2010 in Christchurch and since then has been performing in shows here in NZ and Australia. Musical Theatre Show’s such as Hairspray, Oklahoma, Curtains, Outliers and Taking the High Ground.

He also completed two 10-month tours with Duffy Book’s in Homes with Duffy Theatre acting as Duffy touring around the country to NZ Primary schools, as well as other successful tours.

However, after 10 years he decided to change career paths.

“I was over all of the travelling and doing show after show. I wanted to challenge myself in something else that I was passionate in. Fitness and wellbeing.”

He says the course has given him a “greater appreciation of why I do what I do.”

A highlight of his year studying health and fitness was others in the industry seeing his potential and giving him the opportunity to work in the industry while training.

“Another highlight was helping and supporting clients and seeing their amazing changes, results in their fitness and health,” says Simon.

Being able to work in the fitness industry helped apply what he learned while developing his ability as a fitness instructor. He loves his work as a personal trainer/fitness instructor at Remix Fitness Studio and Huringa Pai Whanau Fitness

“The two different environments require different styles of training,however, together we create and deliver fun and effective workouts for everyone, while keeping a whānau vibe.

This whānau concept is crucial to the success of our programmes and is a key component to everyone

achieving their own personal goals.”