Meet Sam, our new Gym Manager!


AUT Millennium is excited to introduce Sam Nicolson, who has joined the organisation as our new Gym Manager.

Starting at the beginning of June, Sam will lead the Gym team who help our community of Everyday Champions with their ongoing health and fitness journeys.

While Gym members are bound to meet her over the coming weeks, we caught up with Sam to get an idea of where she’s come from and how she plans to make our wonderful Gym even better.

Tell us about your work experience and your background in the fitness industry?

I come from business management originally, but have also taught group fitness on the side for about as long as I’ve been in the corporate sector.

I have a marketing and management degree and first started my career at Air New Zealand in the pricing team, before moving to insurance a few years later which is where I stayed for the majority of my full-time career. In insurance, I moved around pricing, product, and managing business performance and contact centre teams.

Four years ago I took a break from my corporate career to start a family and I’ve never looked back!

Most recently I’ve been contracting in human resources and business process, as well as teaching up to 20 group fitness classes a week. My class experience ranges from aqua to pump to spin.

What is your favourite form of exercise and why?

Group fitness. I love the motivation of working out with others and smashing a high intensity session in a short space of time. I like variety with the classes I go to, although you’re more likely to see a pig flying than me in a Zumba class!

I try to incorporate little bits of exercise into my life in every way, so I walk wherever I can and I love to be outdoors. From time to time, you’ll find me out running around Orewa Estuary as well.

What excites you the most about joining this organisation?

The people! The gym team and the wider AUT Millennium team are next-level awesome. From my first interaction with the team, I’ve felt right at home and surrounded by some real experts. The shared passion for health and wellbeing across all areas of AUT Millennium is refreshing. The people we have to share and deliver this to our members is even better.

We have such a fantastic gym, with awesome staff and members, and I really feel privileged to be part of the team. There are so many passionate people and I’m really looking forward to helping bring all of the awesome ideas out to the surface.

There are so many aspects of this organisation I’ve only just started to learn about, and I am so excited to see how we can bring other parts of AUT Millennium into the gym.

What are you hoping to bring to AUT Millennium Gym?

A little bit of me! With a technical background but a passion for health and fitness, I hope to add some practical and refreshing ideas to what is already a fantastic facility.

I’d love to be able to open the gym up to some new areas of the health and fitness world, helping people to explore new things and see their bodies and abilities in a different way. I see the gym as a puzzle piece in the lives of our members, and connecting all the AUT Millennium pieces for everyone is going to be really inspiring.

Tell us about what you like to get up to outside of work?

Playing with diggers and dump trucks in the dirt or sand… Did I mention I have a three year old son, Alex? He really likes diggers, a lot. In fact, “digger” was his first actual word. Mega disappointment when he realised neither my husband nor I are digger drivers.

We live near Orewa beach so we spend a lot of our spare time down there digging holes, making sandcastles, and taking our Pomeranian for a walk. I’m a big Disney fan too, so if I’m ever missing for a week or so, I’ll be at Disneyland.

Can you share the best piece of advice you’ve received or a motto you like to live by?

I apply a GSD philosophy to my life: Get Stuff Done. I’m high energy and like to make the most out of my time and my day, so I try not to get caught up in the little things.

I learnt very early in my management career we often spend a lot of time doing the menial things that don’t add value so now, I try and eliminate those little things and GSD! (Note: not to be confused with my beloved GHD hair straightener.)