Training business finds perfect niche in Taupo

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Graham Perks and Sam Warriner after winning the Raratonga Triathlon.
Graham Perks and Sam Warriner after winning the Raratonga Triathlon.

Sweat7, co-owned by Commonwealth Games triathlon silver medalist Sam Warriner and her husband Stephen Bradley, has built up a niche Bay of Plenty business training triathletes from across New Zealand.

The couple relocated from Whangarei to Taupo last year. They found themselves spending more time each year running training camps in the long-term home of Ironman New Zealand and decided they didn't want to spend so much time travelling, especially with a young daughter.

"When the opportunity came to move here, we took it," said Ms Warriner. "I love the one-to-one coaching and hands-on experience. It's just so good that the athletes come to us."

Sweat7 now coaches about 30 to 40 triathletes , of whom six-to-eight are youngsters, with predominantly age group (weekend warrior) athletes.

Mr Bradley said athletes came from as far afield as Dunedin and Whangarei, with a strong and loyal group of six-to-eight regulars from Rotorua - including Rotorua Association of Triathletes president Graham Perks - as well as a couple of Tauranga athletes.

Ms Warriner, who is on the High Performance Advisory Group for Triathlon NZ, also trains Mr Perks' niece Lauren Steadman, a paratriathlete who is a favourite for gold at Rio.

Last year, Mr Perks and Ms Warriner won the men's and women's sections of the Rarotonga International Triathlon. Mr Perks - who has trained with Sweat7 for more than three years - said they were a great team, combining Ms Warriner's experience as a professional athlete and Mr Bradley's management .

"And they are well located slap bang in the middle of a vibrant triathlon community, not just in Taupo, but in the wider Bay of Plenty - we have a range of events here."

Mr Bradley, a former PE teacher who has done postgraduate work in sports medicine, and is a keen cyclist, said Sweat7 was more of a lifestyle than a business.

"We could be in Auckland earning more money, but this is a beautiful part of the world. We really love people coming in for three days over a weekend, then we get to spend time by the lake or training ourselves."

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