Our Coaches

Kowhai Te Kira

Kowhai’s passion is within whanau health and wellbeing. She is a current student at Te Wananga O Aotearoa and has two young children at home who keep her active and on her toes.

Kowhai started dancing in her teens, performing and competing in various events and competitions nationwide. She is a foundation member of ‘Zion’, a former Paul Kelly Motor Company dancer and a member of ‘The Dynasty Dancers’ to name a few. Kowhai has previously taught Hip hop at Zion Studios – CHCH, Sheridan’s Studio One – AUS and Corina’s School of Dance.

Kowhai is an enthusiastic sportswoman; she plays touch, softball, netball and turbo touch. She also takes a dance/fitness class at Cadence Cycling Studio.

Kowhai is involved with Otautahi Sport Association and manages the senior and junior touch teams.

Follow Kowhai @kowhaiisyellow

A picture of Anna


Anna has been involved with Gymnastics for the last 15 years competing herself at a national level multiple times before taking up coaching 8 years ago.

Being a competitive gymnast at such a young age ignited Anna’s passion for helping other young kids achieve their goals and reach their full potential.

Gymnastics has always been a big part of Anna’s life and she loves sharing her skills and knowledge with her classes to help kids develop their independence and gymnastics ability.

Follow Anna on Instagram: @anna_leathers


Coming from a big sporting family, health and physical wellbeing has always been a big part of Nita’s life.

She has represented Canterbury in hockey, rugby and softball and represented New Zealand at the world softball tournament in China.

Nita is a mother of three, and after having spent the last two years as a pre-school teacher she has developed a strong passion and dedication to helping children develop their fine motor skills, social skills and confidence while having fun and being active.

A picture of Tessa


Tessa is a mum to two young daughters under the age of three which keep her busy! She comes from a background in personal training, after completing her studies in Wellington in 2011.

Tessa has worked in the fitness industry for several years, she has been taught group fitness classes, personal training and even managed a number of gym clubs. Tessa has always loved living a fit, healthy lifestyle. She loves to cycle, snowboard, run, swim and has even competed in adventure racing.

Tessa is also currently studying Te Reo Māori at Te Wananga O Aotearoa. She is looking forward to taking the Fit Mums class and building a healthy, fun community of Fit Mums!

Follow Tessa on Instagram: @kiwimamaproductreviews

Simone Walker

Being a part of a big sporting family, Simone grew up playing every sport under the sun. It was team sports such as netball, touch football and badminton that taught Simone the importance of teamwork and fitness from a young age. By age 20, Simone became a fire fighter and volunteered at her local fire bridge. It was here that she learnt important life skills and gained a lot of life experience that she has kept with her to this day.

Now a Mum herself, to daughter Frankie (who always keeps her on her toes), Simone is very passionate about working with children of all ages and believes all children have a natural curiosity, a sense of wonder and enthusiasm for play and learning. “Health and fitness is important to me and physical activity benefits in many ways.”

Deonie McClay

Deonie has always been a passionate and high-performing sportswoman and brings a contagious enthusiasm for exercise to every class. She specialises in athletics and age-based classes (pukekos (5-7 years) and kakapos (8-10 years)). Deonie is also a MyFirstGym birthday party host and late classes coach. She has extensive top-level sevens rugby, touch rugby and football experience. She has also completed the Services Academy Induction Course (military-based bootcamp) and regularly attends cross fit to sustain her own fitness levels. Deonie is a very qualified and experienced coach; she’s a very fit all-rounder and is always looking to improve all aspects of her health and fitness. It’s this drive to continue learning that she passes on to every child she coaches.


Jaime Bagrie

Jaime sees it as a ‘dream come true’ to combine her love for dancing and teaching at MyFirstGym. During the past 15 years, she has trained in both ballet and jazz, through the BBODance, International Dance Teachers’ Association (IDTA) and New Zealand Association of Modern Dance (NZAMD) dance syllabuses.

At age 16, she began teaching ballet at her local dance studio and since then has gained her Pre-Associate Part 1 IDTA teaching qualification, while gaining experience teaching exam work, choreographing for performances and continuing her own training in both ballet and jazz. She is also studying a Bachelor of Teaching and Learning for primary school level at the University of Canterbury.

Kate Maher

Kate has a passion for teaching children with an emphasis on the mind-body connection. She believes that the classes offered at My First Gym not only improve children’s physical wellbeing, but help them to develop cognitively and socially as well. Kate is a former gymnast  and competed at a national level until age 14; she now takes adult gymnastics classes as she believes you should practice what you preach! She holds a postgraduate degree in English and has tutored at the University of Canterbury but much prefers working with little ones. Kate wishes to instill a sense of excitement and confidence in the children with which she works, and encourages kids to have fun and feel good about using their bodies.