Tennis ace’s gym opens doors

Destanee and Mark Aiava, who are based at the Institute of Athletic Performance.


A Hallam high-performance gym that attracts professional athletes such as tennis rising ace Destanee Aiava is opening its doors for a free family day.

The Institute of Athletic Performance will host live music, push-up competitions, a sparring exhibition, sausage sizzle, kickboxing and boxing classes, a strength and conditioning class and a jumping castle.

Nutritionist Michelle Reeves will be on hand for advice.

Depending on her training commitments, Aiava – a local who played impressively at the Brisbane and Australian open tournaments this summer – is hoped to be there for autographs.

After completing Year 12 last year, the 19-year-old Aiava is hitting the WTA tennis circuit this year.

She trains at the Hallam gym, which is run by her father Mark – an elite athlete across four sports in his own right.

Mark has represented New Zealand in athletics, tae kwon do, powerlifting and rugby.

At the gym, he works with VFL footballers, Bundesliga soccer players and elite basketballers, as well as offering free self-defence sessions.

He says his aim is to empower the community, especially women and young adults, in what can be an “intimidating world”.

“Our ethnicity is wide and diverse and we have an even male to female ratio, as well as great age diversity.”

The family free day is at Institute of Athletic Performance, 2/9-10 Carl Court, Hallam on Sunday 24 February 10am-2pm.


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