The 'Life Changing Challenge' & 'Time for a Change'

Posted on 27/08/2018 by Lauren Wilson

TUMU Timbers Health & Wellbeing Committee launched our first “Life Changing Challenge” in January 2018.  The aim of the 12 week challenge was to target participants willing to make adjustments to their lives.  These changes didn’t need to be strictly about losing weight but more to do with making good decisions to improve their overall health and wellbeing.

Our first group consisted of 20 participants which were a combination of day and night shift along with a mixture of departments. The concept would’ve been extremely difficult to get off the ground if not for our ongoing partnership with Davis Ataera from Renew216.  Davis was responsible for running a series of sessions at a variety of times each week as part of the physical aspect. Davis also worked closely to assist each individual with their personalised goals.  We encouraged their goal setting to look at physical, mental, wellness, nutrition, addictions and networking aspects. The work out sessions comprised of a variety of boxing, circuit classes and functional movement classes held at Hastings Giants Boxing Academy.  The small group sizes allowed Davis to work closely with each individual to educate and improve their mechanics and movements.  This allowed not only increases in strength and fitness but also reduced chance of injury by understanding how their body should move.

The participants paid a contribution each week toward the overall cost of the programme, with TUMU Timbers picking up the rest of the bill. Each participant was required to attend at least two sessions per week but could attend more if they could fit it into their schedule. The added degree of accountability to the program gave some participants the extra incentive necessary. 

Participants also completed a Bio Scan reading which was made possible by Greg Mawson  from Snap Fitness, this was done in weeks 1, 6 and 12.  This gave participants an opportunity to track the progress in their bodies without being governed purely by the number on the scales.   As our goal was to make life changing adjustments, we also scheduled information sessions that covered a range of topics such as:-

  • Nutrition sessions – lunch, dinner, snack, breakfast and drinks.  We are thankful for Anna Horton (from the HBDHB) giving up her time to take our nutrition sessions. Anna was great at being extremely informative in hand with explaining it simply using easy to understand concepts.
  • Label reading/Supermarket tour
  • Home exercise circuits
  • Acupuncture/Yoga info session
  • Kiwisaver and Southern Cross Health Insurance
  • Reflexology
  • Bike Ride Education Session

One of our unexpected bonuses was our private group Facebook page - it is still going strong 8 months in.  It’s a great tool to communicate attendance, photos, stories and just general support along with a way to share any accomplishments outside of our group sessions.

Due to the success of the first programme we have since extended the challenge for a second 12 weeks and opened it up to another crew of participants. From here, we have morphed it into another challenge called 'Time 4 a Change' so are onto our third 12 week programme.

'Time 4 A Change' is similar to the 'Life Changing Challenge' but without the education sessions and extra events.  We have the workout sessions available on 6 out of 7 days each week, again at a variety of time options so everyone can find something that works for them. We are up to 27 participants.  One of the best parts is that some of the participants are employees that very rarely sign up to anything extra, so to have them join this initiative is really rewarding.

Another exciting aspect of this initiative is the opportunity it’s created for employees from a range of departments to get to know each other along with getting to know people better outside of work.  It’s broken down barriers between departments, across levels of roles within the business and created great morale within our workplace.  An example is the opportunity it’s created for admin staff to interact more with factory staff has been invaluable.

The flow on effects of participants being able to influence their whanau and make changes within their own homes has been impressive also.  From altering their eating through to encouraging other whanau members to participate in some of our activities or do extras together.  These days, people spend so much of their time at work.  By being able to be alter their habits at work naturally flows into their lives outside of work and assists with creating the more positive habits. 

Overall, the sense of pride and self-satisfaction gained within each individual, whanau and across all work colleagues is invaluable.  TUMU Timbers have done a great service to their employees by facilitating such programmes, great signs for the future ahead.


(Pictured: A group of participants after a gruelling fitness session at

Hastings Giants Boxing Academy)