Limited Places available for our Nordic Walking for fitness course in Mawson starting 9th February

Meet Our Instructors

Kristen Pratt

“I’ve always enjoyed inspiring and helping people to achieve their health and fitness goals. Nordic Walking just blew me away because of how effective it is as a low-impact, whole-body workout that can be adapted to suit and meet almost every health and fitness goal. Best of all it’s fun and easy and you can do it anywhere.

Now whenever I see people walking for fitness – I can’t help but think how much they are missing out on by only using their legs! If only they’d Nordic Walk – they’d turn their walk into a whole-body work. And when I see people running – I think that they also could be getting great benefits with less stress and impact on their ankles, knees and hips. As for people stuck inside in gyms on treadmills and other cardio equipment………. how could you compare that with striding out with Nordic Walking poles in the fresh air around Canberra’s beautiful surrounds – lakes, mountains, and urban bike paths through stunning wetlands…….”

Kristen has been actively involved in health and fitness throughout her career. She is a qualified Occupational Therapist and certified Nordic Walking Instructor with Nordic Walking UK, the Nordic Academy and the International Nordic Walking Federation (Australia) (INWA). Kristen holds the following qualifications: B.App.Sc(OT), M.Ed.St, M.BA, M.IntDev’t. 

Kristen Pratt

Kristen discovered Nordic Walking in 2011 whilst living in Switzerland where she was working with the World Health Organization’s Disability and Rehabilitation team. After trying it out and realising its enormous benefits and applications she completed a comprehensive Instructor course with NWUK – the leading authority on Nordic and Fitness walking in the UK. Kristen was impressed that she could achieve heart rate levels whilst Nordic Walking that were similar to running. The increased shoulder swing also assisted her recovery from a frozen shoulder. Before long she found that she was teaching friends and colleagues with a huge range of fitness and health goals and challenges – from the young and super fit through to older people with health conditions such as arthritis – and seeing first hand the amazing results that NW produced.

After returning to Australia in 2014 and ending her long career with the Australian Government Aid Agency AusAID, where she led the development of Australia’s first Disability Strategy for the aid program (Development for All: Towards a Disability-Inclusive Australian Aid Program), Kristen certified with 2 of Australia’s leading Nordic Walking organisations – Nordic Academy and Nordic Walking Australia. Kristen founded Capital Nordic Walking in 2014. She holds a current first aid certificate and has full public liability and professional indemnity insurance.

Kristen is committed to continually updating her knowledge. In 2014 Kristen completed an INWA certified ‘Nordic Walking for Parkinson’s disease’ course, in 2015 a Cert III in Personal Training, and Cert IV in Fitness in 2016. At the September 2015 World Nordic Walking Conference in Seville Kristen completed NW Workshops with the 5 World NW Masters, including a series of clinics with Tom Rutlin focused on the Exerstriding NW technique and its applications – particularly for people with mobility challenges. Kristen also passed the NWUK Advanced Instructor course in Milton Keynes in 2015. In May 2016 Kristen completed a 2-day workshop with Norman Doidge, M.D. on latest developments in neuroplasticity, including the importance of walking for brain health. Exercise [also] reduces our risk of Parkinson’s and dementia, among other diseases. Click to read more on walking for brain health.

Kristen is also a serving Board member of the Parkinson's ACT Committee, Nordic Academy Advisory Board, the Disability Rights Fund and a Disability-Inclusive-Development consultant.

Nicky Gibbons - Senior Instructor

Nicky Gibbons

Nicky is a registered Fitness Professional with Fitness Australia and has over 25 years experience in the health and wellbeing industry. She discovered the vast benefits of Nordic Walking in 2017 and has been Nordic Walking daily ever since - it is a key aspect of Nicky’s personal fitness regime!  Nicky encourages her clients to try out Nordic Walking as she believes it improves them not only on a physical level but also psychologically.

She has worked closely with Kristen in learning the Capital Nordic Walking technique for teaching people to Nordic Walk, and is a certified Nordic Walking Instructor with the Nordic Academy, Melbourne and Nordic Walking Australia. She is also a current member of the International Nordic Walking Federation (INWA). With 5 years of Nordic Walking instruction experience under her belt, having taught over 500 people to Nordic Walk with a range of abilities, and getting consistently high reviews in all customer surveys, Nicky is one of CNW’s most experienced, skilled and valued instructors.

Over her career, Nicky has worked with a vast array of clients covering all aspects of rehabilitation, pre and post-natal mothers, seniors, clients with cancer or neurological disorders, clients with weight management issues, or those just simply wanting to get fitter.

Jacinta Greenwood

Jacinta Greenwood

Jacinta's passion for this industry first started as a teenager when she was an Australian Representative for Figure Skating. Through her experiences with training and competition, she became infatuated with how the body moves. Due to a combination of factors, she was later struck down with a serious back injury in 2009, resulting in a complete inter-vertebral disc replacement in 2014.

Jacinta's experience of dealing with the injury, surgical procedure, and the recovery led to an even greater passion of wanting to help people in similar situations. In 2016, Jacinta had a hip arthroscopy, and her emotional and physical roller-coaster started over again.

Having completed her Bachelor of Exercise Physiology and Rehabilitation, she is humbled to be in a position to be able help others both prevent and manage injuries and health conditions. The benefits of regular exercise has been widely publicised for both prevention and management of chronic disease. So no matter your age, physical, or physiological condition, let exercise be your medicine!

Jacinta is also an Accredited Exercise Physiologist (AEP) and Accredited Exercise Scientist (AES), and is a member of Exercise and Sports Science Australia (ESSA).

Andrea Coomblas: Instructor-in-training

Kristen, and all the Capital Nordic Walking team, are very much looking forward tohaving Andrea Coomblas on board as an instructor very soon!   Andrea has a Certificate 4 in Fitness, is registered with AUSactive, and is working towards becoming an accredited Nordic Walking coach.  Soon after learning to Nordic Walk Andrea put her hand up to become a CNW Angel – one of our trained volunteers - supporting people with health and mobility challenges who come along to our weekly Community Outreach Nordic Walks.  She quickly saw the need for a south side group and established the popular Friday Lake Tuggeranong group.

“I first heard about Nordic Walking from a physiotherapist helping me with knee issues but I let full time work and other family commitments get in the way of me doing anything about it.  Move forward a few years, I’ve very happily left behind a long-term desk-based office job and finally made the time to have lessons in August 2019. 

Nordic Walking has since become a big part of my exercise routine, and I love how versatile and accessible it is to all ages and levels of fitness.  In becoming a Nordic Walking Coach, I am looking forward to helping others take advantage of the incredible benefits and opportunities that Nordic Walking offers to achieve their health and fitness goals and improved quality of life.”