The latest addition to the rapidly evolving health and fitness scene in the Western Bay is about to join Bethlehem's Aspire Health and Sports and the High Performance Centre at Blake Park.

The first NZ branch of The Athlete Factory is an all-inclusive training centre for athlete development based in a purpose-built facility on Aerodrome Rd, Mount Maunganui.

It will be lauched this Easter weekend by Bay of Plenty Steamers player Keepa Mewett, his co-directors Mike Rogers and physiotherapist Craig Newland, and strength and conditioning authority Gareth Ashton.

Rogers recently returned from the UK where he spent a week working alongside The Athlete Factory UK team.


He says there is nothing in New Zealand like the new facility.

"Our target audience is basically anyone from 5 years old to as old as you get but a real big focus is on youth development. It is kind of competing in that gymnastic-type space. The busiest time of the day in here is going to be 3.30 to 5.30 after school," he said. "We are not talking about a 1500 square metre building full of machines that nobody really uses. It is all about functional movements. We have 600 square metres of turf, 3x40 metres of running track and 300 square metres of open gym floor so it is all about teaching people how to move effectively. If you have a look overseas the trend is definitely a big move towards a facility like this.

"It is a very different model. Our stuff is all programme-driven so people will be buying a course effectively, and they will be scheduled in terms of when they will be in here. Ultimately we will be accountable to make sure they are improving."

Newland, the lead physiotherapist at Foundation Sports and Rehabilitation, will head the medical team at The Athlete Factory.

"We love working with athletes and helping them achieve their goals whatever they may be. Our passion is to help get our community more active and see athletes excel at their sport in a safe way, preventing injuries and improving their performance," he said.

Rogers says professional staff are absolutely vital to the success of the new venture.

"For the athlete or the people using the facility, they need to have access to everything under one roof, whether that is physio, podiatrist, nutritionist, mental skills coach, or strength and conditioning coaches.

"The philosophy is still that we want to create independent people not dependent people. The big drive is to make everyone self-sufficient and driving their own development as well."

The Athlete Factory is holding a special opening weekend for the public over Easter. On Friday there is a free open testing combine for all athletes aged 10 or older at 9am and noon, with a charity open day on from 7am to 6pm on Sunday showcasing the various programmes available. Entry by gold coin donation to go to CanTeen.

- Information: or contact Mike Rogers 021 784 839 or email