Pumping iron for the planet  

Tom Montgomerie is aiming to help raise $5000 for a Cambridge tree planting project. 

After bringing a new kind of ice cream to Cambridge in 2017, entrepreneur turned personal trainer Tom Montgomerie has cooked up another cool idea.

The former St Peter’s School student now wants to raise $5000 to buy hundreds of trees for Cambridge.

He plans to fund the trees by running a series of outdoor exercise classes at Lake Te Koo Utu launching next month.  Run through Snap Fitness and catering to people of all ages and fitness levels, they will be 30-45 minutes long and cost $10 each, with every dollar raised ploughed into the tree fund.

“Everyone knows about climate change and everything that’s going on and we all have a responsibility to do something about it,” Tom, 21, said.

Participants will even have the chance to put their newly toned bodies to good use planting the trees around town in conjunction with the Cambridge Tree Trust.

“Everyone who does one exercise class will raise enough money for one tree, so come along and burn off your Christmas pudding and do something good for the planet at the same time,” Tom said.

“I think it’s going to be a whole lot of fun.  If you train all the time it’s nice to exercise outdoors with new people and if you’re new it’s a great way to start.  It’s very social and it’s for a good cause.”

Cambridge News readers may know Tom through Copper and Cream, an ice cream business he started in 2017 and ran for two years.

While in year 12 at St Peter’s School he imported an ice cream machine from Thailand, incorporated it into a caravan and sold his product in Cambridge and at markets around the Waikato.

“The machine had two cold plates that went down to negative 23 degrees,” he said.  “You’d pour on the ice cream mix and the customers would pick and choose their flavours and you’d make it in front of their eyes in 30 seconds.  I loved the theatre of it.  Everyone was attracted to the way it was made and I enjoyed entertaining people while I was doing it.”

The experience gave Tom a taste for working with people and after finishing school and selling the business in 2018, he gained a Diploma in Hospitality and Hotel Management from Queenstown Resort College and set off on his OE.

Passionate about health and fitness, while in Australia he studied personal training to enhance his personal knowledge but never thought he would use it.

However, when Covid-19 struck he returned to New Zealand and began working as a personal trainer at Snap Fitness.

“I’m loving it and I think I’ll continue working in the health and fitness space for a wee while,” he said.

“It sounds cheesy, but helping people achieve their goals is so rewarding.  I think the gym is a scary place for a lot of people and getting them through that and helping them through their health and fitness journey is great.  I feel the most gratification when people make results and have real benefit from exercise.”

Anyone interested in Tom’s New Year fitness classes can sign up through the gym or contact him on 027 274 6558.

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