JIANNI FELPAS

CAREER STATS & FACTS: BHSc Physiotherapy. Corrective & High Performance Exercise Specialist (REP's registered fitness professional), Pilates Instructor.

WHAT DO YOU DO? I'm the owner and director of MovementLAB, Grey Lynn. I work predominantly as an ACC registered physiotherapist, but I also teach Pilates. In a nutshell I work with injured people from all walks of life whom aspire to do more than just recover from injury. It's about setting goals a little higher, and taking people from the ordinary to the extraordinary.

WHAT CONTRIBUTION/S WILL YOU BE MAKING TO BTGP? We know studies show exercise is therapy for physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. Self-esteem, discipline and improved body image contribute greatly to psychological and emotional health, while team training builds our ability to connect with others, and to feel connected to community.

WHAT DOES ‘BTGP' MEAN TO YOU? It’s an opportunity to provide a lifeline for those who’ve slipped through the gaps. The wasted potential of our lost generation costs us all in the long run, so giving people a chance to realize their full potential is crucial. Many, if not most, of these teens would never have the opportunity to participate or experience an exercise facility of any nature, let alone one like MovementLAB.

WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO SUPPORT THE BTGPWe struggled as a family for a decade with one of our own. We were one of the lucky stories. So being able to support a charity that works directly with these kids and their families is a perfect opportunity to help others help themselves.

 WHEN YOU WERE UPSET AS A TEENAGER, WHAT CREATIVE OUTLET DID YOU FIND SOOTHED YOU? I was bullied most of my teenage years, and found solace (and a place to hide) in the art studios at school. I painted, drew, created works of art… This for me was my emotional outlet, and way to express myself. I felt a sense of accomplishment and pride in my work… in myself.

WHAT MAKES YOU HAPPY? As clichéd as it sounds: making others happy. I get a buzz when a client shows up in the clinic with the weight of the world on their shoulders and I help ease the burden, or put a smile on that person's face. Working as a physiotherapist means I listen to a lot of deeply personal stuff from patients that often manifests in their bodies. I think once you touch somebody, it opens up a pathway where they feel safe to confide in you.

WHAT MAKES YOUR BLOOD BOIL? I absolutely cannot tolerate bullying or cruelty.