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As a former professional rugby player of more than 15 years, Ace Tiatia knows the inside of a gym probably better than most.

So after his return from a decade-long stint playing top-level rugby in England and France, the ex-Manu Samoa hooker returned to his Wellington home and decided he wanted to run his own gym – for good reason.

“The fitness industry is a bit of a take take business but what we believe is if people are going to pay lots they deserve the best in training and customer care and having a sense they belong to something greater than what the norm provides.”

“We wanted to create a programme that’s suited to anyone and everyone, and make something that has real substance. Our business is more spiritual, mental and about family.”

Ace certainly had the practical know-how to run his enormous 1600-square metre gym The Athletes Village  having bench-pressed his way through his career as a hooker with Wellington and Otago before jetting overseas.

But to ensure his success he knew he had to upskill with some business smarts.

He enrolled on a certificate in small business management with Te Wānanga o Aotearoa .

The 36-week free course introduces students to business planning processes in the New Zealand business environment, business law, marketing, management and accounting.

“I did the programme at Te Wananga o Aotearoa and it was absolutely fantastic.”

“The programme gave me the foundation skills that I needed before getting into business for myself- things like making sure your GST is all covered, having different accounts for this and that – there were a lot of things I wouldn’t have known if I didn’t do the course.”

Te Wānanga o Aotearoa believes that education is the key in helping to assist whānau transform their lives.

It’s something that Ace can attest to.

Since opening his gym in late 2014 he now has 400 clients – nearly all of whom he knows personally.

“I have personally provided programmes for just about every person in there – I know everybody who walks in to our gym and make a point of it – it’s like walking on to a marae.”

Te Wānanga o Aotearoa was established 30 years ago and today it delivers programmes to over 32,000 students at 120 sites in 50 towns and cities across the country. 

More than 300,000 students have graduated from Te Wānanga o Aotearoa since its inception.

To enrol in our free small business management course simply click here or call us directly on 0800 355 553

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Published On: 09 July 2015

Article By: James Ihaka



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