From humble beginnings to a fearless way of life

By Regan Paranihi

Māori duo, Riki Cotton (Ngāti Kahungunu) and Benay Aiomanu (Ngāi Tahu) began their fitness journey in their Gold Coast home six years ago to provide locals in their community an opportunity for a healthier lifestyle.

Since its establishment, Fearless Fitness has been changing the lives of many locals living in the Coomera community.

It's always been a life-long dream for Cotton and he can now see the fruits of their hard labour.

"I knew I wanted to help people [the] way fitness and health had helped me," says Cotton.

Taking the first steps into a new kind of lifestyle is the most challenging part for many of their clients.

"People come through the doors so nervous, so uncomfortable within themselves and we've got a platform here and we're just grateful that it can help those people," says Cotton.

He says seeing the change and growth in his clients is the best part of his job.

"it's such a huge thing and I feel that they are becoming better internally regardless of what's happening externally."

Coomera is known as one of the hubs of the Māori community on the Gold Coast and Cotton says his gym is a space where his clients can feel at home.

Benay Aiomanu says, "We just have a really welcoming community and we've always just put it to the people that are here."

"i think people that have come here, they are missing a touch of home.  Then, when they come in and they see that- 'this is exactly what I'm missing'," says Cotton.

"I visualise family and I see it first-hand and I think this is everything that I wished for."

 The duo hope to build a legacy that the future generations can carry on after them.