Teokotai reaches personal training career peak at 58

Photo: Teokotai Tengaru (standing on the left) at New Zealand Institute of Sport (Sylvia Park, Auckland campus)

Teokotai Tengaru, at 58 years old, epitomises the remarkable power of determination and an unwavering passion for fitness. Starting his tertiary education journey later in life with New Zealand Institute of Sport, Teokotai has been set on a singular purpose: to master the art of fitness training and impart his extensive knowledge of health and wellbeing to others.

After ending his secondary school education early, Teokotai faced some initial challenges settling into the tertiary education environment.

“My high school experience was very brief, I was expelled after the first term in 3rd form, now known as year 9, I was only 13 years old,” shares Teokotai.

“My experience at NZMA was very daunting at level 4, I felt out of my depth, and was struggling to come to terms with the schooling protocols and structure. I also found I had to adjust and learn to deal with technology, which I had avoided for decades.”

With the unwavering support and guidance of his tutor, Teokotai was able to conquer his personal challenges, excel in his studies, and set himself up for further accomplishments.

Transitioning from a Level 4 Health & Fitness Personal Trainer to a Level 5 Advanced Health and Fitness Coach course, Teokotai's confidence grew as he perfected his skills in elite athlete periodisation and specialised in working with vulnerable groups, including individuals with obesity, elderly, children, and the physically challenged.

Today, Teokotai proudly serves as a fitness trainer at the Glen Innes YMCA and the YMCA Panmure Lagoon Pool and Leisure Centre. He conducts various fitness classes, including High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) and core classes, empowering individuals to adopt healthier lifestyles and achieve their fitness goals.

Teokotai's journey is not just about professional success; it's rooted in his deep-seated values and faith. His altruistic nature is further evidenced in his desire to undertake charity visits at rest homes, with the aim of encouraging its residents to stay active and engaged through a tailored exercise program.

For him, true success lies not in monetary gains but in the joy of making a positive impact on others' lives. Having spent years on a benefit to support his family, Teokotai finds long-lasting contentment in earning a honest wage through his hard work and dedication.