THE NORTH POLE (Finland) AND SOUTH POLE (Australia)
"Warning: PoleAbout is so addictive it should be illegal"
Together, Marko, Michael & Joe & team have created a unique philosophy: Marko (Director of PoleAbout Product Research & Development Institute ) comes from a land near the North Pole (Finland) and Michael & Joe (Directors of PoleAbout International Education Institute ) who are the driving force behind the education process come from the lands near the South Pole (Australia &New Zealand). By combining their expertise and experiences in Pole Walking, they have now brought the two poles together to form the greatest physical activity on the planet - known as PoleAbout - (Pole Walking) which they now intend to share with others, everywhere and anywhere, by taking PoleAbout on a WalkAbout all over the globe. Since it has No Boundaries, No Limits.
The "Walking Wizard" not only "talks the walk" but believes strongly in "walking the walk". Michael was nick-named the Pole Walking Wizard by others because of the large amounts of energy and power he pulls from the poles and in turn communicates to others so that they can make amazing changes in their daily lives by using the poles in their leisure time and lifestyles.
Pole Walking is simply a feel-good, fun, friendly and functional way to move about. Since walking has been the most common form of mobility for thousands of years, simply adding the poles to your walk makes it that much better. Michael Gates continually demonstrates and shares with communities far and wide the benefits, ability and achievable results you can gain from pole walking through presentations and regular Pole Walking Challenges. Michael is the first person ever to complete 2000 kilometres in just 22 days using poles and he loves pushes into new boundaries with no- limits where others seldom go, like his Non-Stop 24-Hour and 36-Hour Pole Walking Ultra Challenges.
JOE (Black Panther) WAIDE
Joe was nicknamed the 'black panther' because when he hits four paws his passion, power, enthusiasm and role model pole walking coaching style compliment all the attributes of the panther. This allows him to melt into the shadows after leaving an unforgettable impact on all pole walkers.
He has been extensively coaching and educating people of all types and ages for the last 13 years. He has coached over 1100 instructors in the Les Mills programs and operates a successful personal training business in Australia. He regularly presents at national and international health and fitness conventions and his commitment to people and improving their health and lifestyle saw him being awarded Networks Australian Personal Trainer of the Year in 2004.
Colleen Lord OAM
Colleen has over 20 years experience in Fitness, Health, Recreation and Pre-retirement Health Planning. Past State Director of the Senior Adult Unit for the NSW Health Dept. Currently Director of Rayna Holdings Pty Ltd. Colleen has successfully developed many national healthy lifestyle community programs such as Walking for Pleasure, Aqua Fitness, Gentle Exercise, Healthy Lifestyle Holidays and currently Lifeball and is instrumental in developing pole walking programs into regional and rural communities. Over the past 20 years she has been highly sought after as a lecturer/ presenter at all levels of education from public to professional seminars at health and fitness conventions to presenting scientific based research papers at international conferences to regular speaking engagements to Universities and TAFE students.
Jay has always had a passion for sports and outdoor adventure; he aspires to be successful inside and outside the 4 walls. His passion has lead him into a successful career as Health & Fitness Trainer and now his current role as an Operation Manager in the Outdoor Recreation Industry which allows him to empower people in the ultimate experiences of hiking, Mt Biking, abseiling, bush walking and kayaking in the great outdoors. Jay maybe the junior in the development team but already he has conquered many challenges which has given him a vast amount of real life knowledge and experiences of others twice his age. Jay thrives on calculated risks, and is always on the lookout for his next adventure that keeps him out of his comfort zone.
Grace has been instructing for over 20 years health and fitness & lifestyle programs to people of 8yrs to 88yrs. For the past 19 yrs Grace has Co-owned and managed the very successful Tweed Fitness Centre. She has a vast knowledge and experience in group fitness programs, from 2001 to 2004 co-developed SmartShape the highly successful weight management education program for professionals.
Grace is the real back-bone of the PoleAbout Education Institute she is not often seen but she is so often found doing the major work behind the scenes.
"Son of Pole Walking"
The "Son of Pole Walking" and the first person to create terms and directions for pole walking was Marko Kantaneva. His pole walking article was published in 1997 in Finland . Since then, Marko Kantaneva has tested, developed and advocated pole walking with enthusiasts and coaches from all around the world. Pole walking is not a sport, it is a lifestyle, a way of thinking that brings a certain uniform rhythm to your movement. That rhythm is passed on to your thoughts and helps create a greater balance in your life.
There is nothing unnatural in pole walking - it is a way of movement, which engages your entire body. Pole walking is suitable for everybody. It can be taken up by professional athletes, amateurs, people keen on leisure activities and is user-friendly for the elderly, young people and children.
Pole walking can be practiced whereever and whenever: on roads, on the beach, in the forest - everywhere you usually walk.
Pole walking should not be taken too seriously - it just has to be practiced often! No boundaries, no limits!
Professor Garry Egger MPH, PhD, MAPS
Centre for Health Promotion and Research, Sydney
Dr Andrew Binns (Lismore GP)