I am extremely grateful to be working as a Health Coach at Melon Health. I graduated with a triple degree (Arts, Commerce and Physical Education) in two stints, with post graduate work in sociology and media. Since graduating I’ve worked in a variety of roles in the health and fitness industry.

Since moving to Wellington in 2004 I’ve established myself as a Personal Trainer at Les Mills. The nature of my job allows me the freedom to explore different avenues I have an interest in over the last decade in the half.

They include working as strength and conditioning coach for rugby union teams at Premier club level and age-grade provincial level and International rugby students (firstly in Dunedin, then Wellington); and have continued working with individual national level athletes from several different sports like mountain biking and volleyball.

I’ve tutored at various stages, anatomy and sociology of sport while at University of Otago, strength conditioning at New Zealand Institute of Sport and Business paper for Exercise Science students at WelTec. I love seeing the students I’ve taught, in recent times, entering the health and fitness industry.

I have been fortunate to work initially as a trainer, and then as a consultant, for a community health trust for from 2007-2013. Nga Whakatauki Trust mahi was primarily aimed at giving low income beneficiaries and workers access and support to quality health professionals. The trust primarily offered access to both cardiac and obesity patients. In the latter years it was opened up to include low mental health (depression and bipolar) patients.

During 2011-2013, I was able to combine my passion of running with raising money for the Malaghan Institute of Medical Research. A health institute based in Wellington whose research is primarily aimed at increasing our knowledge of cancer, asthma and immune system. A friend and fellow work colleague over the next two and half years committed to running 2 ultra-marathons; 5 marathons, in 5 cities in 5 days; and completing 150km on a treadmill in 12 hours. These were all a lead up to running the Marathon des Sables, a 243km race in the Sahara Desert. Our efforts were rewarded with raising over $50,000 for the Malaghan Institute. The planning and participation in this mental and physical achievement still remains a personal highlight.

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The last 6 months of being involved as a health coach for Melon Health has been a rewarding one. The standout features of the programme in comparison with the community health work I’ve been involved in prior to Melon Health, is the ability to keep in touch with patients over a variety of media platforms, the community page allowing fellow patients to connect and provide support for each other and the ability to set notification reminders to take their medication. Perhaps it’s strongest asset is the ability of the patient to determine the level of support and interaction they require from their coaches. The above advantages, are primarily about immediate help and support with a sense of independence from your home. In contrast, you have to leave your home to be at a physical premise at a time when it’s convenient for the majority of users and a little more intimidating environment for some to share their thoughts.