That’s how we row #SMASHFIT

A South Auckland women's gym is getting behind the Heart Foundation this month, to raise money to support its life-saving work and give back to the Papakura community.

Smash Fit Gym

Members of the SMASH FIT gym are attempting to row 100 kilometres over eight hours, raising funds to purchase a defibrillator for the Papakura Community, with the balance of funds being gifted to the Heart Foundation.

Mark Taylor is the man behind this incredible concept. With a neurological disorder affecting his mobility, vision and health, Mark initially struggled even to use a rowing "erg". However, after his rowing effort on November 6, Mark raised more than 95,000 dollars for the Heart Foundation.

"We think Mark is incredibly inspirational here at SMASH FIT - and we were hugely honoured when he asked us to help him reach his fundraising target of 100,000 dollars. SMASH FIT is the home of both Mark's wife and one of his daughters, so it was a very big "yes" from us," says SMASH FIT owner Emma Dunn.

Mark will be rowing alongside the gym members for some of the event and heart health is something close to home for the Kiwi.

"My family and friends have been impacted by heart disease and the health of our heart is something that we all need to take more seriously. That's why I've done the eight-hour rowing challenge to raise money and awareness around this great cause," says Mark.

The gym prides itself on working with real women and showing them how a fun exercise regime and great nutrition can change lives. 

"We understand how to manage a healthy lifestyle and life balance and our goal is to share this with other women so they tackle everyday life feeling empowered," says Emma.

Heart Foundation Head of Fundraising and Partnerships, Alison Wheatley-Mahon, says with this year's unprecedented circumstances, the Heart Foundation is relying more than ever on people like Mark and SMASH FIT. 

"With heart disease being New Zealand's single biggest killer, it's remarkable people like Mark and the members of SMASH FIT who help make sure that life-saving work continues to be funded. We are in awe of the effort and commitment," says Alison.

The gym will be open for anyone to come down, have a row and make a donation.

The event welcomes all people to participate and will include exercise classes and a hangi.

There are many other ways people can help support the efforts of Mark and the SMASH FIT team. 

Here's how you can help:

  • Share or donate to the give a little page
  • Donation on entry if you are only spectating and supporting.
  • Book into an exercise class:
    9am - ENERGIZED with Aysha
    11am - A WARRIORS HEART with Shikhar
    1pm - ZUMBA with Ricky
  • Order yourself a Supporters Tee
  • Mama's Hangi will be available
  • Grab yourself a coffee from the coffee guy at the door - by doing so you will be making a donation to the Heart Foundation.
  • Grab yourself some baking from the baking stall - FULL proceeds to the Heart Foundation.
  • You can jump on our guest rower and donate to row with our crew for a specified time period - FULL proceeds to the Heart Foundation.
  • Share our video
Donate to Smash Fit's fundraiser