Group fitness designed to strengthen tāne mental and physical wellbeing

A group fitness kaupapa called Tamatū and designed for tāne is aiming to help them reach their fitness goals.

Benjamin Tawhara (Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Kahu, Te Rarawa) endured losing a friend to suicide last year.

He said the loss of his friend wasn’t the only motivation to start Tamatū but it was one of the kickstarting factors that got him into action.

Tawhara said that the goal was to improve his life for himself and for his family, his community and for the people he associated with.

“People want to lose weight but I think for us, for me and my committee, it’s about resilience, mental resilience to stay solid and weather the storm.”

Tawhara said a lot of young men were into drugs and alcohol and it "hindered their processing and they just make dumb decisions”.

“Being healthy in mind and body is simple but effective”.

Tawhara explained that the programe started off with him making a commitment and practising what he preached by starting and completing the first six-week programme.

Tawhara led by example, saying that the application of physical fitness was able to show people around him that he was being more positive and more active which started having a ripple effect on those people.

“It’s a kick start; it takes time, energy and commitment.”