Ngāpuhi pro bikini athlete on a mission to empower wāhine

By Jessica Tyson

Ngāpuhi pro bikini athlete and personal trainer Jess Coate is on a mission to empower other wāhine in their own fitness and health journey by hosting her own expo.

The Jess Coate Fitness Expo in Waikato on April 24 is designed to be a fun day out with the girls or wāhine of any age and fitness level, she says.

“I wanted to start something epic, space where females can come and learn about health and fitness and try out different styles of workouts, and meet like-minded females to help them on their health and fitness journey,” she says.

During the expo, wāhine can take part in different workouts including weight training, boxing and yoga.

“People can choose to attend all the workouts or just pick and choose what they want to do.”

Coate says she will lead the first training seminar, teaching the wāhine the importance of weight training and how they can maximise their training sessions.

“This will just be a bodyweight workout working the full body and teaching them how to maximise their time.  So this is something that people can do from home, or they can do from the gym.”

Professional boxer Cairo George will take the wāhine through the boxing workout to teach them fun and different ways to do cardio.

“Then I have my friend Lashara who will be finishing off with a stretching yoga session and on top of that a whole lot of health and fitness stalls.”

Coate says it can sometimes feel extremely isolating for people when they’re on their health and fitness journey alone.

“So [the expo] is a way for people to come and gain the right tools and have the right people supporting them through their journey. It’s so easy for people to give up on their health and fitness journey, and it’s not about being perfect with your training and your diet but it’s about being consistent because consistency always wins with your health and fitness.”

Coate has been a personal trainer for more than a decade and has competed internationally in bodybuilding. One of the most recent titles she won was the WBFF Pro Diva Bikini Australian Champion title in 2018.

Coate says her dream was to be a Silver Fern before she started bodybuilding.

“I love netball and I played all the age groups in Wellington and Wellington Māori up to under 21s. For me, that dream was shattered by injury so I took up bodybuilding to try something different and to keep in shape and it's taught me so many life skills, she says.

“It’s taught me strength, it’s taught me courage, it’s taught me work ethic. It’s taught me a lot about myself and no matter how things turn out in life, mentally I have the ability to achieve anything that I put my mind to.”

Coate says there are many ways women can benefit from lifting weights.

“The obvious being shaping and toning your body, weight management, mental management, wellbeing, increasing your metabolism and stronger joints and muscles.”

The expo will run from 12-4pm at the Wintec's Bill Gallagher Hub Hamilton CBD on April 24.