Haagon East and Sue Richard are two very familiar faces around PROACTIVE24. Buying the gym in the October of 2007, the fitness industry stalwarts have built their empire through a vast combined knowledge and wealth of experience in the field of health and wellbeing. The dynamic duo decided to sell PROACTIVE24 in January 2020 to free up some time and focus more deeply on their other business baby – TRIBE Team Training®, a team training model that is now being offered right across the world.

Sue Richard has been passionate about health and fitness her entire life. After finishing her Bachelor of Physical Education in Sport Science in Canada, she decided the time was right to travel. After working in the fitness industry throughout her studies, it was natural for her to look for work in the same sector upon arriving in the land of the long white cloud.

“It was an industry that I was passionate about and wanted to continue working in. I was hired at Les Mills Dunedin and from there my career took off,” she says. “In my 13 year career with Les Mills I held many leadership roles and management positions. It was a working history I am forever grateful for.”

Sue met her husband Haagon 25 years ago; a university graduate with a Bachelor of Physical Education from Otago University. The two travelled up and down the country working for Les Mills and supporting their various clubs. They were also learning the secret recipe to working alongside your life partner every day. When their children came along, the family moved from Auckland to Dunedin to manage Les Mills Dunedin, spending many a weekend and holiday in Wanaka. They decided to make the move permanent in 2007; purchasing PROACTIVE 24 and pouring their love and energy into the fitness centre, before choosing to redirect some of their unwavering energy on the TRIBE Team Training® element this year.

“We love every day in Wanaka and most importantly at PROACTIVE24. It is such an honour and privilege to be a part of this amazing community – we have met friends that will last a lifetime and are so proud that our kids have grown up here,” Sue says. “As any business owner will know, we need to be working ‘on’ the business, not so much ‘in’ the business. Because of my passion of wanting to stay connected with the members through teaching classes, personal training and coaching TRIBE, it was quite a simple decision; we wanted to work ‘in’ the business of PROACTIVE24 and ‘on’ the business of TRIBE Team Training®. By selling PROACTIVE24 after 12 years of working ‘on’ the business, it has now allowed me to work ‘in’ the business of PROACTIVE24 – essentially coming back to my passion and my roots.”

Th research behind the TRIBE training model is simple – most individuals attain far greater results working in a team than working on their own. Sue believes it is the team momentum of TRIBE Team Training® that creates a dynamic environment for individual success. With small, personal sessions of no more than 10 participants, run by astute, experienced coaches, each TRIBE offering – be it TribeFIT™, TribeLIFE™, TribeCORE™, TribePUNCH™ or TribeKIDS™ – offers a series of exercises across six week seasons with guaranteed results.

“TRIBE offers you safe, effective, progressive training that guarantees results no matter what fitness level or exercise history, allowing you to outperform any given one-off workout anytime,” Sue says. “Team members will visibly see their results at the end of every six-week cycle. They are measured in cardiovascular fitness, strength, and mobility gains. For example, our team members know they become fitter and stronger because they will complete the same session from six weeks prior – called our benchmark measure – and they will see improved times or an increase in rep counts at the completion of the season. They can expect to see a measured increase in strength, such as an increase in load of equipment with the ability to maintain form. They can also expect to see an overall increase in range of motion in any given plane of motion, which is an improvement in mobility. There is also a myriad of ‘feel good’ results, such as team members who are now in a routine and have created exercise consistency; no more stop starts. They gain a sense of belonging, accountability, accomplishment, community and friendships.”

Clubs all around the world are now offering TRIBE Team Training®, with memberships in New Zealand, USA, Canada, Japan, England, and Australia. In these unprecedented times, there is greater demand for intimate, bespoke training models that offer a sense of connectedness as well as fitness results.

“Research tells us that now more than ever, people around the world are seeking real social connection that doesn’t involve exercising through a screen. They’re looking forward to coming back together and exercising together in a safe environment,” Sue says. “TRIBE can offer all of this in any club around the world. With a limited number of team members – no more than six to 10 per team, per season – members are loving the social interaction, the benefits, the results, and that they are exercising safely in a controlled, clean environment.”

It’s the members that keep Sue bouncing out of bed in the morning, ready to tackle the new day. “We all know the benefits of a healthy lifestyle and how important it is to our mental and physical health. My passion comes from our members and the courage it takes to make the decision to live a healthy lifestyle,” she says. “Everyone has a different background and a different story, however the one thing we all have in common is that we seek results or a ‘better’ life. These results are all relative to the individual and it is a total privilege to be welcomed into their inner circle to help them achieve these goals.”

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