Meet the Active Attitude team

We pride ourselves in having coaches who care about your child more than they care about the sport they are teaching. Our coaches teach sport because they want to make a difference in the lives of young people. For us, sport is a way they we can help your child grow and bring out their best. All of our coaches have their First Aid certificates and are dedicated to continuous education to ensure the tuition we are providing your child is fun, safe and developmentally appropriate.

Want to join us? Learn about our Coach in Training Programme and Employment Opportunities.

Ashleigh McCaw - Director & Coach

Ashleigh has always enjoyed sport and being physically active. From an early age she was swinging on bars in the playground and doing handstands. As a youngster, Ashleigh played netball and did competitive gymnastics.  She started coaching gymnastics at the age of 14 and has been involved with instructing children’s physical activity ever since. She enjoys teaching gymnastics, swimming and athletics, as these sports develop fundamental movement skills which provide the foundations for other sports.

Ashleigh has previously worked in gymnastics and swimming organisations and for Gymnastics New Zealand.  Ashleigh is looking forward to getting more Northlanders involved in gymnastics and helping to develop youth sports coaching as a recognised profession in New Zealand.

Qualifications/Training:

  • Bachelor of Sport and Leisure (Hons).
  • Fitness Business Diploma
  • Certificate in Personal Training
  • Certificate in Sports Administration
  • Gymnastics NZ Coaching Qualifications (Gymnastics/Gymsports): Basic Skills, Recreation Coach, Play Gym Leader, Junior Women’s Artistic Gymnastics Coach, Junior Tumbling Coach & Junior Aerobics Coach.
  • Swimming NZ Swim Teaching Certificates: School Age, Adult, Early Childhood, and Teaching Swimmers with Disabilities.
  • Trained Level 3 Run Jump Throw (Athletics) Coach
  • Trained Get Set Go (Athletics) Coach
  • Coaching New Zealand (Level 2)

Favourite Sport: Gymnastics

Favourite Healthy Food: Strawberries

Favourite Quote: “It’s is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.” – Theodore Roosevelt

 

Natalie (Nat) Cossey - Assistant Manager

About Nat: Nat always wanted to become a teacher, and from coaching at Active Attitude while studying towards her Sport and Recreation qualifications she has found that coaching is her passion. She comes from a family who love sports and being outdoors.

Qualifications/Training: Bachelor of Sport and Recreation, Gymnastics New Zealand Qualifications: Foundation Coach & Elementary Trampoline Coach

Favourite Sport: Netball

Favourite Healthy Food: Ambrosia

Favourite Quote: “Don’t worry about failures, worry about the chances you miss when you don’t even try.” - Jack Canfield

 

Donna - Administrator

About Donna: A mother of a daughter who grew up in the cheer-leading world.  She has a background and qualifications in administration, cooking and as a pre-school educator.

Qualifications/Training: Qualified Chef, Level 4 Certificate in Business and Administration

Favourite Sport: Cheerleading

Favourite Healthy Food: Watermelon

Favourite Quote: “The best therapist has fur and four legs.”

 

Mika Sakai-Cates - Academy Tutor

About Mika: Mika’s early post uni work life was in journalism, education, and consumers’ cooperative society. During her extensive travel Mika has lived in many different countries. She has taught many years at NZ high schools and intermediate schools and also at CEW (Community Education Whangarei) and Multicultural Whangarei. Mika is well aware of the importance of respect for different cultures and has an excellent ability to interact with people of all ages from a multicultural background.

 Qualifications/Training: Bachelor in Social Sciences, Postgraduate Diploma in Education, NZ Registered Teacher (Secondary School)

Favourite Sport: Dance

Favourite Healthy Food: Sushi. Any fruits except persimmons

Favourite Quote: "Walk on with hope in your heart, and you will never walk alone."

 

Toni Saunders

About Toni: Full-time employee at NDHB working as an Anaesthetic Technician for the past 3.5 years. Prior to that life was dedicated to dance and cheerleading, as a gym owner, coach, choreographer and judge. Enjoy being outside, trail walking, running and enjoying the beauty of Northland.

Qualifications/Training: Diploma in Applied Science, Qualified Anaesthetic Technician, lifetime dedication to dance and cheerleading.

Favourite Sport: Cheerleading of course

Favourite Healthy Food: Carrots

Favourite Quote: “Believe you can, and you’re halfway there.”

 

Allan McGregor - Guest Programme Coach

Allan has been training in Martial Arts for over 30 years, and has experience teaching both adults and children. He first started training in Ninjutsu in 1989 in Whangarei, and sat and passed his black belt there in 1991 at the age of 15.
Allan also holds a teaching license for Bujinkan Ninjutsu issued in Japan, where he passed his Godan (5th Dan Black Belt) in 2009. He has hosted numerous seminars within NZ, both as the instructor as well as for guest instructors from within NZ and overseas. He has hosted biannual camps for practitioners from around the country and was one of the organizers of the NZ Taikai, an international event with one of the senior Japanese instructors. It was at this event where he was awarded his Judan (10th Dan Black Belt).

Tyran Mirko

About Ty: Ty is a stunt man in training, clown and circus skills enthusiast. Not settling for a single talent, he has dabbled in acrobatics, parkour, juggling, knife throwing, archery and many other odd skills. When he is not training, he is filling his time with cartoons and Dungeons and Dragons!

Qualifications/Training: Certificate in Swim Teaching, 8+ years of Parkour/Tricking

Favourite Sport: Sword fighting (HEMA)

Favourite Healthy Food: Anything I can share with a friend

Favourite Quote: “And why do we fall, Bruce? So we can learn to pick ourselves up.” - Thomas Wayne (Batman Begins)

 

Trinity Peirson-Harrop

About Trinity: Trinity is very passionate about the benefits of being strong and active. She has participated in gymnastics with Active Attitude when she was younger and while studying towards her Sport and Recreation qualifications she became a coach here. Trinity is from a farm and loves exploring the outdoors.

Qualifications/Training: Level 6 Diploma in Sport and Recreation.

Favourite Sport: Gymnastics

Favourite Food: Watermelon

Favourite Quote: “The struggles you face one day, builds strength for the next.”

 

Jessica Woollam

About Jessica : Jessica is one of our Active Attitude Coaches and is also a student at Dargaville High School.  She has been involved with Active Attitude since we first started our club in Dargaville in 2012.

Qualifications/Training: XTND Youth Leadership and Coaching Qualification.

Favourite Sport: Netball

Favourite Food: Lasagna

Favourite Quote: “Every master was once a beginner, every pro was once an amateur.”

 

Thomas Davidson

About Thomas : Thomas has been a member of Active Attitude since we first started our club in Dargaville in 2012.

Qualifications/Training: XTND Youth Leadership and Coaching Programme.

Favourite Sport: Gymnastics

Favourite Food: Bacon

Favourite Quote: “Study your opponents and train against them and you will have gold.” - Sun Tzu.

 

Piper West

About Piper: Piper is one of our Active Attitude “Coaches in Training” and is a student at Whangarei Girls High School. She has represented Northland in Aerobic Gymnastics since 2016 and was one of our original Active Attitude members who started with us back in 2012.

Qualifications/Training: Currently in her first year of Active Attitude’s Coach in Training Programme.

Favourite Sport: Aerobics

Favourite Food: Nectarines

Favourite Quote: “Everyday may not be good, but there is something good in everyday.”

 

Leah McRae

About Leah: Leah is one of our Active Attitude “Coaches in Training” and is a student at Whangarei Girls High School.  She has represented Northland in Aerobic Gymnastics since 2015.

Qualifications/Training: Currently in her first year of Active Attitude’s Coach in Training Programme.

Favourite Sport: Aerobics

Favourite Food: Berry Smoothie

Favourite Quote: “Beauty begins the moment you decide to be yourself.”

 

Caitlin Thompson

About Caitlin: Caitlin is one of our Active Attitude “Coaches in Training” and is a student at Whangrei Girl’s High School. She also represents the club at competitions for trampolining.

Qualifications/Training:

Favourite Sport: Trampoline and Team Sailing

Favourite Food: Watermelon

Favourite Quote: “Push yourself because no one else can do it for you.”

Annabel McIlhinney

About Annabel: Annabel is one of our Active Attitude “Coaches in Training” and is a student at Huanui College. She has also represented Northland in Aerobic Gymnastics.

Qualifications/Training:

Favourite Sport: Aerobics

Favourite Food: Strawberries

Favourite Quote: “The difference between your dreams and reality is called action.”

 

Caitlin Leathem

About Caitlin: Caitlin is one of our Active Attitude “Coaches in Training” and is a student at Whangrei Girl’s High School. She represented Northland in Aerobic Gymnastics in 2018 and then Tumble in 2019.

Qualifications/Training:

Favourite Sport: Tumble

Favourite Food: Fresh apricots

Favourite Quote: “Life is like a camera - focus on what’s important, capture that good times, develop the negatives and if things don’t work out, take another shot.”

Chevaughn Snowden

About Chevaughn: Chevaughn goes to Pompallier Catholic College and does competitive cheerleading with Active attitude.

Qualifications/Training: Currently in her first year of the active attitude coach in training program.

Favourite Sport: Cheerleading

Favourite Food: Sushi

Favourite Quote: “Believe you can and you’re half way there.”

 

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