Lockdown: 'Fit Wāhine' provides online bilingual fitness classes

By Aroha Mane

People from around the globe are joining an online Māori-English bilingual fitness class.

Te Puawai Winterburn started Fit Wāhine Aotearoa online during the lockdown last year. Now it's helping people stuck at home to get fit and have a Māori language boost at the same time.

“I was delivering classes in Ōtaki which started with $2 koha classes and then Covid-19 happened. I realised that so many wāhine from across Aotearoa and the world were reaching out to me asking to put Fit Wāhine online,” says Te Puawaitanga Winterburn - Kaiwhakahaere, the founder of Fit Wāhine Aotearoa.

The 28-year-old's bubbly personality and high energy has attracted more than 8,000 followers on Instagram and 2,000 on Facebook.

“We're on a mission at Fit Wāhine to help wahine to show up to be the best versions of themselves and we use fitness as the vehicle to help them do that. Another big kaupapa of ours is to normalise te reo Māori within the health and fitness industry here in Aotearoa.”

Her motivation comes from her own personal experience.

“I’m a māmā, with two children. My daughter is 10 and my baby is 9 months. I guess for me, I know how hard it is to step back into that hauora journey after having a pēpi. But it's a lot easier I feel in my own personal journey to do that when we've got a community of wāhine supporting us.”

She has the following advice for wahine out there wanting to get fit.

“Find someone that you resonate with, find someone that can help to keep you accountable and just know that you're not alone. There are so many of us māmā, wahine Māori and wāhine indigenous who are facing challenges as well. And we're all in it together.”

Free classes are available on the Facebook page, Buy Māori Made.

Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/fiwahinenzaotearoa

Instagram @fitwahine_puawai