It's been a very surreal few days for us, after attending the ExerciseNZ conference and awards up in Auckland. We were nominated for Independent Fitness Facility Of The Year and went to the awards with no expectations, just humbled and feeling immense gratitude to be part of such an amazing industry.
We won our category, far surpassing any expectations, and all of the winners go into the overall category for Supreme Facility Of The Year. I was utterly gobsmacked when we were announced winners (check our socials if you want to have a laugh at my look of sheer disbelief!) And as we walked up to celebrate as a team, trying to frantically come up with an acceptance speech - I went with short, sharp, and sweet, and we left the stage with our second award for the evening.
Here's what the judges had to say:
"Jimmy certainly has his finger on the pulse with every system/process at the cutting edge - communications, apps, retention processes… Redefined Wellbeing’s modelling makes it simple for staff and members to follow. You can see why there’s an exceptional NPS. It’s people like Jimmy that make a massive difference in our industry. Loved the Kiwi culture coming through in this entry.
"This was a tough call with the caliber of all of the facility winners this year, choosing Supreme came down to a matter of a couple of points in overall scoring. A club who have truly redefined wellbeing – they have a professional mission statement, values, and purpose!
Right from the start, you can see incredible vision and feel the team engagement. Redefined Wellbeing has a beautiful entrance with ample parking, allowing for ease of access; this seems to be just the beginning of your journey to their facility. There’s a great connection with the shapes & lighting throughout the design, which gives a really unique feel and makes each room pop with its intended purpose. How the staff are trained and aligned with the bigger picture means that all staff are focused on the same thing.
Some of the things that made Redefined Wellbeing stand out were: The onboarding philosophy (9 Blue Zones) and incorporating that into every new member’s programming. Also, the delivery included te reo and ao Māori influences, with a simple ‘kia ora’ at the front desk… Putting staff first but really defining this with the wording in the entry and naming all the staff members’ names, you could get an authentic whānau feel."
A few days later, reflecting on what we have collectively achieved, it's starting to sink in. From the very start, we strived to be different, to do things our way, and to create a more holistic view of health and fitness for our local community in Papamoa. And now, I feel we are finally achieving this, finally, people are using exercise as a tool for their mental health, not just physical health. Finally, the obsession with aesthetics is starting to subside, and communities instead embrace the medicinal powers of exercise, and finally, we are starting to see a more wholesome, holistic approach to healthy living. And I feel grateful, humbled, and so very proud to be facilitating people on their journeys to better wellbeing.
And it has been a journey. And then some. We opened after the first lockdown in 2020 with a very uncertain future, in what will be remembered as the worst economic times our country has seen in recent years. It’s easy during these times to give up, to not stay true to your values. But we stuck at it, showed incredible resilience, committed to strive to be the best we can be. And for that, there are many thank you’s I need to share.
First of Sammy Hill and Dom from Antimony Agency (https://www.antimonystudio.com). Sam is a lifelong friend who helped us create our values and identity, branding, and logos, and really embraced our visions and helped bring them to the fore. Gerry Salmon and Reece Zondag, business coaches who helped refine our business plan, gave us expert guidance, support, and encouragement in getting Redefined off the ground. You simply cannot buy experience, and having the guidance of those who have been there and done it is simply invaluable. Mid Thomas Savello who also helped guide us and our staff through the storms of lockdowns, mandates, and challenging times. Also, to my parents Andrew and Shirley August and Neil Harrison, who financially invested in us at the start and fully believed in our project when others didn’t.
And then there are our people. I've attended many Exercise NZ conferences over the years, and the underlying theme I always walk away with is how important our people are. We are nothing without our people who connect with our tribes day in and day out. In a highly competitive, fast-paced, and rapidly evolving customer-facing industry, it is our people who are the heartbeat of what we do. I feel truly grateful, blessed, and thankful to have such an awesome team here at ReDefined .
First off, there’s my partner Lenka, who has kept our home running and two little children happy while I had to make many sacrifices to keep Redefined going. I wouldn’t have been able to do it without her support. To our staff, and in particular, the ones we call our ‘Redefined Originals’ (those who have been with us since day dot): Janine Lowe, Paul Cubitt, Sam Burch, Lena Pfitzner, Martin Lasch, Tracy Hawkins, Victoria Leonard, you are a true inspiration and I salute you for everything you have brought to Redefined. And to the rest of our amazing holistic team, Jaydn, Morgan, Paul B, Nadia, Nickee, Verena, Bruna, Vitor, Marina, Irene, Vivian, Scott, Natalia R, Natalia W, Marina, Kylie, Jase, Hana, Nikki, and all those who have been part of our journey, I say a heartfelt thank you for the magic you bring day in and day out. And then there’s our loyal tribe of members, who have supported us and cheered us on throughout this awards process, being happy to give true feedback and make our little hub such a fun, light-hearted place to be, day in and day out.
Finally, I would just like to salute the exercise industry and everyone who is part of it. This isn’t a job you get into to make lots of money; it's something you get into because you have a genuine desire to help others and better their lives. And that is no easy feat. I especially salute the crew at Les Mills Taranaki Street Wellington circa 2006-2009 who gave me my first start in the industry and really showed me, and supported me, in what it really means to be part of this epic industry. I also extend our gratitude and salute Exercise NZ for their dedicated efforts in advancing and enhancing exercise in New Zealand, with an awesome weekend conference and awards dinner. It is the collective responsibility of EVERYONE who is part of the exercise industry to support Exercise NZ. They are the ones driving significant change for the better of not just those who work in our industry but everyone who lives in the best country in the world.
Embracing their mantra of "Get everyone in Aotearoa Exercising" is a fantastic goal we should all rally behind. Movement is Medicine.
So where to from here? Never have I been more excited for the year ahead than I am now. Our Theme for 2023 “Exercise IS preventive Medicine” has really helped shine a light on our values and engage with our tribe first and foremost in what exercise brings to our lives.
2024’s theme will be “Feel Good to Look Good”, as we continue our holistic journey in educating and inspiring our tribe that looking good comes from the inside out, not the other way around.
I'm also inspired to continue to innovate. Our journey is not finished; it's only getting started, and I'm proud and giddy of what our team is innovating on and planning for 2024 and beyond.
Watch this space!