Trainer finds success in UK

AUDREY MALONE
Last updated 11:17 16/04/2014
nick morrison
HEAD FOR BUSINESS: Former Timaru man Nick Morrison has calved out a successful career for himself overseas.

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 NICK MORRISON
 Born: 1984
Timaru Schooling: Highfield, Watlington Intermediate, Timaru Boys High School
Parents: Jan and Philip Morrison

Timaru, like many small towns in New Zealand, can sometimes get a bad rap, but reporter Audrey Malone is determined to show it is actually a microcosm for success.

Nick Morrison, at 29 years of age, has realised life is what you make of it.

In the 12 years since leaving Timaru, he has started two businesses, co-developed a training programme, and trained celebrities such as Claudia Schiffer and Jemima Kahn.

Morrison was born and raised in Timaru, and like many, journeyed to Otago University to undertake his tertiary studies, where he completed a double degree in Otago's Physical Education programme.

Although Morrison's first post-university job was with the Wellington City Council as a physical education instructor, he realised he needed more.

"I really enjoyed it, but there was only so far I could take that job. You stick at it for 10 years, and get a job in management, I wanted more," he said.

So Morrison became a personal trainer for Les Mills.

It provided his first taste of running a business, because he had to rent space each week and attract his own clients. Not long after, he transferred to Auckland, where he started his first official business - Our Townz, with fellow former Timaruvian Kade Tarrant.

Our Townz was a contemporary clothing and accessories company, with the products drawing on small towns across New Zealand for their branding.

Morrison said he was blown away with how his friends had supported the venture, but the duo realised there was only so much their friends could buy, so decided a nationwide promotional campaign was needed.

They devised a trip for the summer.

Morrison's 4WD was sanded down and repainted with Our Townz signage. Ferry tickets were bought and events to visit across the country planned, with ample product loaded into the vehicle.

As with all best laid plans, the car blew up in Cromwell after Christmas down south, and the required car parts were unavailable until the new year.

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The team had to drudge back to Wanaka, and regroup. "There were a few lessons to be learnt.

"I think we tried to diversify too much too quickly."

With the desire to see the world, Morrison was England bound.

Once in London he found himself personal training, working for the exclusive gym, Ten Pilates.

It was there he started training celebrity clients including Cat Deely, BBC newsreader Joanna Gosling, Trinny Woodall, model Laura Bailey, Tamara Ecclestone, Kahn and Schiffer.

"I would be sitting there watching TV, and someone would come on, and I would go, ‘oh yeah I train her'," Morrison said.

In London, he also created a fitness programme and business called X-Hit.

There were more lessons to be learned, and although there was success, a difference of vision with his business partner led him to make the decision to end the project and move back to New Zealand.

"At the end of the day it's not an industry I wanted to stay in. You would get these beautiful women who were so unhappy, and so focused on their appearance. It was draining to be around all that negativity."

He credits who he is and what he has achieved, because of growing up in Timaru.

"One of the best things about growing up in Timaru is you interact with people from all walks of life."

He said whether it was Claudia Schiffer or being a bit of a lad with the boys on his football team, he was comfortable.

Morrison, now in Christchurch, does not know what the future has to offer, but he has the confidence because of his past experiences, to do anything.

"I know I have it in me."

SOUTH CANTERBURY HERALD

- South Canterbury

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