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Merrithew™ certifies sight-impaired instructor



TORONTO, April 17, 2012 – Merrithew Health & Fitness™ is proud to announce the very first certified sight–impaired STOTT PILATES® Instructor, Renee Clark of Thames, New Zealand, who passed her written and practical exam earlier last week.

“I was born with a condition called Leber's Congenital Amaurosis (LCA) which left me with only peripheral vision in my left eye and not too long ago I also became quite sick after which I turned to STOTT PILATES for rehab purposes,” explained Clark. “I wanted to share my experience and help others which is when I decided to become a personal trainer about five years ago and then a STOTT PILATES trainer not too long after that.”

Clark converted all printed text manuals to Braille notes and was able to fully understand the training and learned best practices without training instructors deviating from their lesson plans or making special accommodations. With strong memory recall, Clarks is able to feel through all exercises and doesn’t hold back if clients are performing movements incorrectly.  

“Renee has been attending STOTT PILATES courses at our hosting facility in New Zealand for almost four years now and her enthusiasm and drive is amazing, not to mention that she challenges her clients and expects their full concentration,” said Sharon Currie, who traveled with Renee to Toronto. “Renee uses a lot of verbal cues which her clients respect and listen to, as well as tactile cues when required and doesn’t act like or think that she has a disability of any kind.”

Usually with an accompanying guide dog, Clark ventured to Canada in March for the very first time without Fern and was excited to see what Toronto had to offer. Clark has been operating and teaching out of her own studio, “Personal Fit”, in Thames, New Zealand for about five years while training and taking courses at “Core Pilates,” Auckland, New Zealand.

“It was inspiring having Renee visit, which provided us with an experience that we learned from greatly,” said Stefania Della Pia, Program Director, Education and Master Instructor Trainer, Merrithew. “She was able to engage extremely well with others, participate in all scheduled group classes and integrate herself in the client and student environment and activities.”

Clark’s motivation to progress and keep teaching is to show that no one can put limitations on anyone’s success and that she hopes to open doors and help others with impairments. Clark has received much community support locally from Bailey’s Real Estate who has been the largest contributing supporter along with we’ar clothing and many individual contributions.


About Merrithew

Merrithew was co-founded by Lindsay and Moira Merrithew in 1988. For over 25 years the company has been dedicated to enriching the lives of others by providing responsible exercise modalities and innovative fitness brands across the globe. Merrithew’s premier Pilates brand, STOTT PILATES®, delivers best-in-class Pilates education and media to everyone from avid exercisers, elite athletes, and pre/post-natal clients, to rehab and fitness professionals, and is used by studios worldwide. Other high-end Merrithew fitness brands include ZEN•GA®, Total Barre, CORE Athletic Conditioning & Performance Training and Halo® Training. Merrithew has trained more than 50,000 students in over 100 countries. Merrithew’s Media Division (MMD) produces print and video-based content for professional and consumer markets. For more information visit merrithew.com.

For more information, interviews and images, please contact:
Merrithew: Laura Fitch, laura.fitch@merrithew.com