Pumped for more learning

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Hāwera campus ākonga Ash Garner (pictured left) is yet to finish her New Zealand Certificate in Exercise (Level 4) but already has a following in the exercise space thanks to documenting her personal wellness journey online that’s culminated in a three-medal haul in the ICN Federation Natural Body Building qualifier. At the Great Lake Classic Qualifier held in Taupo at the end of May, Ash picked up a gold for the Transformation (12 month) category and two silvers for the Sports Model (first time) and Mummy Division.

“I didn’t go into it thinking I would win but it’s been a big boost to my ego and really stoked the fire for future comps,” she says.

The next competition on Ash’s horizon is the ICN Federation Nationals held in Hamilton in October this year.

Ash began the level 4 exercise qualification earlier this year and says it’s been a big help understanding the ‘why’ and seeing the science behind her training programme. She plans on completing the level 5 qualification next, and getting her REPs (New Zealand Register of Exercise Professionals) certification so she can work as a personal trainer. She’s also interested in studying health sciences and nutrition in the future.

She says studying with WITT Te Pūkenga suits her and is best for her whānau. Not only for the practicalities like access to StudyLink but she also knows the face-to face learning environment suits her best.

“You can really pick the brains of your tutor and get access to their first-hand experience.”

Her tutor JP Paurini says: “I'm blown away with how she managed to do achieve all of this on top of working, studying and being a mother! Ash is a perfect example of how you can achieve anything if you have a plan and work hard towards it.” 

While Ash’s two children didn’t recognise her on stage at the competition her three-year-old daughter enjoys practising her own body building poses with her and her five-year-old son is already asking to join the gym.

ICompete Natural (ICN) is designed for competitive bodybuilders and fitness models who choose a 100% natural path, free from performance-enhancing substances, when training, preparing for competition and competing.

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