OUR TEAM

AARON BALSOM

Managing Director / Exercise Physiologist

Aaron, or big boss as most people refer to me as. I started my journey towards the exercise and recovery sector by starting as a butcher when I left school and learning my anatomy that way. I think I found that I would rather work with things that are alive so packed my bags and went down to the mighty Palmerston North to join student life and do a degree in sport and exercise. The idea was to become a typical personal trainer building bodies to look good in summer however the experience I had when working with people with significant health challenges and the power that exercise had to impact their lives, changed my career path. After finishing my degree and heading home to the Bay I worked at a few gyms trying to seek out clients that had more challenging issues before finally getting my break and being asked to come and open up a rehab gym and 8 years later I am still here, loving it and taking the NextStep in my career with ownership.

 

My special focus areas are in the Activity based therapy side of things where I love to try and recover function, challenge your body in various ways and really make an impact with exercise for Neurological conditions. 

 

Fun facts:

  • I used to be a strength and conditioning coach for the Bay of Plenty Steamers rugby team

  • I have 4 awesome kids

  • I am a fanatical All Blacks fan

Qualifications:

  • Bachelor of Sport & Exercise Prescription

  • Post Graduate Diploma in Sport & Exercise

  • Medical Exercise Specialist Certification

  • Workplace First Aid Certification

  • REPs registered Exercise Specialist

BRENNAN MULLAN

Assistant Manager / Exercise Physiologist

My name is Brennan, or commonly known around the centre as B. Like many of us I didn't start out my journey expecting to be an Exercise Physiologist. Unsure of what I wanted to do after leaving school I though I would pursue a career in sport. During my Sport Science Degree i discovered I had a passion for science and how the human body functions. It was when I undertook a work placement in cardiac rehabilitation that I became aware of this career path and a way to put my passion and knowledge for exercise science into practice in a real world setting. More so I discovered the reward of assisting people with health conditions through the power of exercise. It wasn't long before I graduated and joined Aaron where I have remained for over 7 years thriving off the challenges and rewarding nature this centre offers. 

My areas of focus still remains in cardiac rehabilitation and the health clinic's we offer at NextStepNZ. Other focus areas include balance and falls prevention, cancer exercise recovery and cerebral palsy 

 

Fun facts:

  • I have two different coloured eyes

  • One of my many hobbies is landscape photography

  • I have a fur baby Called kobi, a red and white Boarder collie

  • I'm an adventure junky, when not working I'm likely mountain biking, surfing, hiking or spearfishing.

Qualifications:

  • Bachelor of Sport & Recreation | Majoring in Exercise Science

  • Medical Exercise Specialist Certification

  • Diploma in Sport & Exercise

  • Sport Medic Certification

  • Workplace First Aid Certificate

SEAN ARMSTRONG

Exercise Physiologist

Hi guys, I’m Sean and I love brains! I grew up in a small town called Kawerau, eventually finished school and thought I had better go to university. I decided on completing a Bachelors of Sport and Recreation, making the big move to Tauranga. Being heavily involved with sport through school, I thought this undergraduate degree was right for me. What they didn’t tell me about it is that you didn’t just get to play sport, you had to do science. Fortunately, I really enjoyed learning about biomechanics/kinematics and anatomy, but I still did not have a clear direction on where I wanted to end up with my career. I eventually met Aaron and his team on my 3rd year placement and got some experience which involved working with people that had complex rehabilitation needs where I could utilise what I knew. I ended up loving it, especially working with the people I was now involved with and decided this is what I wanted to do. Eventually I started working with more neurological conditions and found this area is where my true interests were. Fast forward a few years I now have a few pieces of paper that say I can work with these types of conditions properly and an uncanny ability to completely ignore my now overinflated student loan. 

As you have probably guessed, my focus is anything to do with brain/nervous system conditions, including T.B.I, stroke, spinal cord injury etc. I implement activity-based therapy interventions which utilise neuroplasticity, or in simpler terms, the brains ability to reorganise itself and form new connections. 

If this is something you need, I look forward to working with you! 

Fun Facts about myself: 

  • Snowboarding is what I do for fun. 

  • I used to work at CornEvil in Edgecumbe, scaring people for work. 

  • I have a cert in sports massage therapy and got to practice on the NZ sevens.

Qualification:

  • Post Graduate Diploma in Rehabilitation

  • Bachelor of Sport & Recreation

  • Workplace First Aid Certification

NEXTSTEP
CONTACT US

14B Hocking Street,

Mount Maunganui, 3116

New Zealand

PH: 07 572 0771

E: info@nextstepnz.com

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