Pinelape Peniamina the winner of The National College of Security Personnel and Technology biggest loser competition

It can be tough staying fit and trimming off the kilos but the students and staff at The National College of Security Personnel and Technology were determined when they launched their own biggest loser competition. 


In October 2015, 14 students signed up for the weight loss challenge and prize money was collected for the person who would lose the most weight throughout the following three months.

The winner, Pinelape Peniamina says she has always been active and enjoys playing sport with her family but she realised she needed to change her lifestyle if she was serious about getting fit.

“If I do something I give 100 per cent, failure is not an option,” says Ms Peniamina.

“Losing all this weight, I suddenly realised how much easier my security guard job and training was and I can now stand for much longer without having pain in my back.”

The Mangere mum could not believe the amount of weight she lost and she says, “it’s not about dieting, it’s about changing your lifestyle and ensuring you eat small portions.”

The Christmas season with all of the delicious food was the most difficult part of the competition for Ms Peniamina.

“If I could have hidden under my duvet for that time I would have, instead I ate a little bit of everything, enjoyed the time with family and then went for a walk.’’ 

Even family members joined in on the walk.
As for the amount of weight Ms Peniamina lost – she’s a little bit shy about revealing that but it was definitely enough to take home the $200 cash prize and protein powder to keep her achieving her fitness goals. 

Iona Togipau, a tutor at The National College of Security Personnel and Technology, says the staff wanted to encourage students to take responsibility for their choices and to show them that with determination they can achieve anything.

“This was pretty successful and we want to run another biggest loser competition later in the year,” says Mr Togipau.
The participants had regular weigh-ins throughout a three-month period, with the last weigh-in recorded in early January this year. 

Part of the students’ training includes working out at a local gym, and teachers and students motivate each other, especially when the going gets tough.

A former student visited the Newmarket vocational college to share his story on weight loss, which encouraged many of the students to keep going and making changes in their life.

College tutors also shared their personal tips and tricks on how they keep fit.
Students worked hard and each one saw results – noticing the difference not only in weight loss but also in the way they felt about themselves.