Charity auction buys new exercise equipment

Exercise physiologist Brennan Mullan instructing Tame Heihei. Photo: Tracy Hardy.

A total of $21,000 raised from a charity auction has provided an opportunity for SwitchedOn Exercise and Wellness Centre to purchase a specialised piece of equipment.

The Harcourts Foundation hosted a charity auction last October with special guest paralympian Liam Malone.

Proceeds of the auction went to The Silc Charitable Trust, which runs the SwitchedOn Exercise and Wellness Centre, situated in Hocking St, Mount Maunganui.

The Silc Charitable Trust CEO Tony Marsden says proceeds enabled them to purchase the NuStep machine, which would not have been possible without the support of the Harcourt’s Foundation, Ingrid Cotton of Harcourt’s and the generous Tauranga community.

Switched On Exercise physiologist team leader Aaron Balsom says the NuStep machine, brought here from the United States, is similar to a cross-trainer except it is low impact to enable people of all abilities to use it.

“It includes attachments that also make it safe and fully accessible for someone in a wheelchair.

“If you’ve got back issues or weight bearing issues that mean you couldn’t walk on a treadmill, this machine will give you the means to still work the leg and arm muscles together at a much lower impact while increasing your fitness.

“As far as we are aware, it’s the only one of its kind in the Bay of Plenty.”

The centre is equipped with specialised exercise equipment catering for people of all abilities, young and old. The centre’s 12-week programmes cater for people with specific health conditions including cardiac and pulmonary conditions, diabetes and cancer.

“The purpose of these programmes is so people can start to exercise under the guidance of a qualified exercise professional safely, and at a $12 per week starting rate we hope we can help more people,” says Aaron.