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Our Coaches

Our Coaches

We don’t have any mirrors at CrossFit Whanganui, we don’t have quick fix shakes or shortcuts.  What we do have are the most passionate and skilled coaches to help guide you along your fitness journey. Our coaches not only love teaching CrossFit, we live it.  We do the same workouts as our classes because we know what works. 

Our coaching team have thousands of hours experience working with groups and individuals from ‘never-exercised-in-my-life’ through to various competitive athletes in different sports.  We’ve helped people achieve major weight-loss journeys, and reaching podiums. We’ve helped people have more energy to play with their children, and helped others keep their fitness while pregnant, and we’ve helped some who were doing re-hab after surgeries.   

We’ve learnt a lot over the years, and we believe in CrossFit, and can’t wait to join you in a workout sometime.

Matt Rayner

From Whangarei, Northland I grew up playing sport and enjoying the Northland beaches. I dabbled in Rugby League, Rugby Union and as an adult found Martial Arts.

In 2004 our family moved from Whangarei to Wanganui and it was here that I was introduced to NZ Eagle Spirit Jujitsu. The training philosophy and camaraderie of this club (founded and led by Kancho Robin Howard) had an immense impact on my world profile and led me to 2nd Dan Black Belt and the establishment of a children’s class (along with another mentor and head instructor Sempai Matt Shepherd) at Ratana Pa. Since then, I’ve graded in Judo and tried my hand at competition (ouch…that is all I have to say about that).

In 2011 I saw the most amazing athletes competing on Sky Sport in this weird sport called CrossFit. After a quick Google search my fiancée and I were surprised to find a small garage gym in Wanganui run by our first CrossFit coach Myles Hodder.

I love my CrossFit Whanganui community. Every class gives me goose bumps and it’s an honour to be part of this community.

Karli and I have a beautiful little girl named Amorangi who is a competitive gymnast, and a cool little boy named Xavier who is a Judo athlete.

CrossFit Level One Trainer
CrossFit Level Two Trainer
CrossFit Strongman Trainer
CrossFit Olympic Weightlifting Trainer
CrossFit Mobility Trainer
CrossFit Football Trainer

Karli Kaea-Norman

I was born and raised in Whangarei and moved to Whanganui shortly after having our first baby.  At age 18 I was a stay at home mum while Matt studied. At this time all I wanted was to be a good mum.

When I began working I switched between retail work and office work, liking the new challenges as they came.  With each move to a new role I knew I could be more than just a teenage mum that society expected me to be, and one more baby later and it was about time I did something about it. So I started by studying the Diploma of Business at UCOL part time. I chose this as it was broad enough to apply to any career I may choose. It took nearly 5 years to complete part time (mostly night classes) it as it had to fit around working and family. I finished top student in management, law, employment relations, computers and overall graduate.

I was never into any sports of any kind growing up. I liked to swim, I liked to play games, but PE was not a favorite subject of mine.  I first saw CrossFit while Matt was watching Sky sports.  Not a sporting bone in my body at that time. I had once run a 5km round the bridges fun run and that was about the height of my athletic achievement.  I had been going to the gym in 3-4 week spurts then forget about it for 6 months then back again.  CrossFit is different; it is something anyone can do.  I found something that I truly enjoyed, and I knew that I truly enjoyed it as I was beginning to rearrange our life to ensure we could continue doing it. I achieved so much so quickly and discovered that I had so much more to go and always will have further.  That was not unique to me either – everyone else who also consistently enjoyed CrossFit were also achieving more than they thought they could, then aiming higher again!

CrossFit ignited a passion in me for fitness and health but most importantly it has brought together other like minded people who are all hard working and inspiring individuals. I just want to ensure that everyone who does CrossFit in Whanganui continues to have these experiences that ignite in them a passion for life.

CrossFit Level One Trainer
CrossFit Level Two Trainer
CrossFit Olympic Weightlifting Trainer
CrossFit Mobility Trainer
CrossFit Football Trainer
CrossFit Gymnastics Trainer