September 19, 2018

Feeling Right @ Soulsprite


For many of us there comes a time when we reflect upon the lives we have led and question if there was something that we might have done differently; more time with the family perhaps, looking after ourselves better, taking more risks, not getting too stressed or wishing we spent more time on the things that fueled us, rather than the things that weighed us down…

At the end of a small alley between Vic Road Kitchen and Subway, in the heart of Devonport, Kate and Ben Walden of Soulsprite are working hard to avoid such regret in their lives, and in fact, in their multi-purpose health, fitness and well-being studios, they’re making it their business to ensure their clients avoid it too.

In the two studios they offer TRX non-impact fitness, personal training, boxing classes and dance fitness with classes led for both young, and the not so young. Their boutique business is centered around personal well-being, advocating healthy bodies, healthy minds and healthy lifestyle choices, and with Ben’s story telling thrown into the mix, training at Soulsprite also leads to a healthy sense of humour.

‘Our TRX classes are exceedingly popular with women and in particular women who have had children and are looking to get back their personal sense of well-being after their post-baby body changes. We want them to feel proud and strong and be guided on how to maintain that strength and sense of wellness through good lifestyle choices – food, sleep, friendship. We have a good time, we’re like a family.’

Kate’s dance classes are led in a non-competitive way, as the pair prefer to offer their sports as a ‘for the love of it’ initiative, stepping away from the traditional view that you have to go through grades, win certificates, and prove yourself in some way. ‘If you simply love to dance, and want to learn how to dance, then we will teach you. That’s what we’re here for. The reward is feeling awesome. That should be enough.’

As parents of three, the wellness of young people is something they take seriously, running a host of services that cater to the needs of families and their little ones. This includes their Kidsprite afterschool academy, holiday programmes, and child fitness classes. Making use of local talent they train and hire brilliant TGS role-models & coaches who lead the training for children in a non-contact boxing studio. And it’s making a big difference. “We’re meeting young people suffering huge anxiety and low self-esteem in this area and in Auckland on the whole. By giving these neat kids the chance to get strong, build physical wellness, feel included and get a dose of good humour, they come out feeling empowered, self- assured and more willing to take a risk,’ says Ben.

Unlike any other fitness business, Kate and Ben also have a kitchen space with 10 commercial cooking stations set up where children are taught how to cook nutritious meals for their families, or the younger children are given the tools needed to fill their own lunch boxes with super tasty and healthy snacks. This bespoke facility is bookable too for those keen to bring groups together over the stove top, learning new recipes and connecting over quality food, or for birthday parties and other functions.

‘Our purpose is to guide others to live well. We’re not like other gyms, we do things a little differently, putting total wellness at the heart of what we do. We care about making a difference to the lives of those in our community. I could tell you something about every person who trains with us, who their partners are, their children’s names, how many times they have come to class. We know all about our students. We offer the coaching they need to be resilient in a rapidly changing environment, reminding them that looking after our bodies and our minds and staying connected to others is the best thing we can do to live a healthy and satisfied life.’

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