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Karina Ormsby: personal trainer and sports devotee


Since childhood Karina Ormsby has always been mad keen on sport. It was this passion that initially led her to complete a Bachelor of Sport and Exercise Science at Wintec. “My main highlight of studying at Wintec was being able to study and learn about what I love … we had fantastic facilities to learn in. The staff are also amazing. Always, even today, willing to meet with you and help you achieve, develop or discuss ideas.” 

After completing her studies, Karina worked as manager for Squash Waikato for several years. However, it was after the birth of her second daughter that Karina decided to take a new direction in the sports industry “After having my second daughter a friend said “let’s run the Auckland Marathon in 2009”… and crazily I said ok. It is from there that my desire to challenge and inspire others snowballed.” 

This desire to help others started out with her providing personal training to friends and family, and eventually culminated in her establishing Só Você (Only You) - Health & Fitness. At Só Você Karina works one-on-one and with groups to help people achieve their own personal fitness goals. A follower of holistic health practitioner Dr Libby, Karina says that she works with her clients as both a personal trainer and a lifestyle coach “I try to get people to think about their lifestyle, and making changes that they feel they can sustain, not for just six months but for a lifetime, and this includes thinking about exercise as well as what they eat. People have become too focussed on weight loss as a goal. Exercise and fitness shouldn’t be just about weight loss, it’s about finding what you like doing, moving, eating well, feeling great and looking after yourself … To me enjoyment is a must. Who wants to do things they don’t enjoy? It can still challenge you, but make you feel great.”

​​But what about people who don’t like exercise? “I start out gently and try and find what they do enjoy, everybody likes something … especially boxing! So many people enjoy being able to throw some punches – it helps them let off steam.”

The results of Karina’s efforts are paying off. Since establishing Só Você (Only You), Karina has successfully trained many clients who have competed in half ironman races or run marathons. It’s not just the big goals that she sees as important either “One of the highlights of my career is having someone come for one group session with me and it being a changing point in their life and the start of their amazing health and fitness journey. Seeing people’s results, big and small gives me a real buzz. More than anything, something that really motivates me is seeing the follow on effect as clients share what they are learning with their friends and family.”

Karina says her study at Wintec really helped with her business “It’s a good course, you get a diverse knowledge base and then get the option to specialise. It’s hands-on too so you’re not just sitting in lectures. I am proud to have gone into this industry with a Degree in Sport and Exercise Science. I believe this Degree provided me with all the tools to be able to provide my clients with the best possible paths to their goals.” That’s not the end of the story either. Karina is currently considering Wintec’s post-graduate sports programmes to further develop her rehabilitation skills in 2016.

When she’s not working with clients, Karina can be found on the side-lines supporting her friends, children and husband’s sports endeavours or running her heart out in a marathon “Long distance running is my current addiction after having completed my first marathon (Auckland) in 2009. I have run multiple half marathons, completed Tough Guy/Gal challenge and am a Hamilton Round the Bridges regular. Most recently, in 2013 I achieved my goal of a half marathon in under two hours at the Huntly Half Marathon … and took 33 minutes off my 2009 Auckland Marathon time.  I have also fought in two corporate boxing fights. In 2015 I completed my first ultramarathon, running the Length of Lake Taupo 67 km solo.  I LOVE a challenge and want to inspire others to challenge themselves.” 

So what’s next? Business wise, Karina has big plans, including starting a blog where she can share more of her knowledge, experiences and ideas with people, as well as a few other plans which she’s keeping under her hat for now. Wondering what those plans are? “Watch this space!” she says.

Visit Só Você online here and check out the Bachelor of Sport and Exercise Science and Wintec’s Centre for Sport Science and Human Performance here​.

Photos by Andrew Hall.​​​​