Meet The Team

Dr. Jake Pearson

Sport and Exercise Physician

About Jake

Sport and Exercise Physician
MBCHB, BPhed (Hons), PG Dip Sports Med, FACSEP

Jake is a specialist Sport and Exercise Physician with a passion for all forms of physical activity.  Raised in Wellington, he completed a Bachelor of Physical Education (Hons) at Otago before going on to study medicine.  He completed his specialist training through time in Wellington, Auckland and finally at the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra. He now enjoys supervising and teaching registrars completing their specialist training. Jake gets a lot of satisfaction in helping active motivated people recover from injury or illness and achieve their goals, and covers all areas of sport and exercise medicine.

Jake has roles providing medical support for various teams and organisations including the Wellington Phoenix Football team, Cricket Wellington, NZ School of Dance and RNZ Ballet, and is a recognised medical provider for High Performance Sport NZ.  He travelled to the Beijing Olympics in 2008 with the NZ Men’s Football team, and was the head of the medical team to the Rio Paralympics in 2016 and Tokyo Paralympics in 2021.  He is also a senior lecturer for Otago University at the Wellington Medical School.

Jake has enjoyed participating in many sports and remains very active.  His passion is ITF Taekwon-Do and has previously represented New Zealand at the World Championships.  Jake keeps active running, conditioning and in various other social sports and activities, including trying to keep up with his 3 boys.

Dr. Theo Dorfling

Sport and Exercise Registrar

About Theo

Sports Medicine Registrar

Dr Theo Dorfling joined the Capital Sports Medicine team at the beginning of 2016. He brings a wealth of knowledge to the team after leaving his job as a GP to continue his studies in Sports Medicine.

He works closely with Dr Jake Pearson as well as running his own clinic on Wednesdays and Fridays.

Theo keeps himself extra busy outside of the office looking after sports teams including the Hurricanes.

Dr. Jamie Jolly

Sport and Exercise Registrar

About Jamie

Sports Medicine Registrar


Jamie began his Sports Medicine training in 2024 leaving behind his time in General Practice and Urgent Care.

He is passionate about the care of injuries and medical conditions that impact exercise.

He is an avid supporter of the Dallas Mavericks NBA team and follows bodybuilding and rugby as well. His hobbies include weight training, running, cooking, and low’n’slow American BBQ.

Jamie has been Team Doctor for the Wellington Lions NPC, Hurricanes Poua Super, Auckland Storm FPC, NZ Universities National squad, and covered the Northern Mystics, Counties Steelers NPC, Iron Man NZ and Special Olympics.

Peter Matheson


About Peter

BHSC, PGDipHSc (Musculo), MPNZ
Director Capital Sports Medicine

Peter graduated from Auckland University of Technology in 2008 completing a Bachelor in Health Science.  He completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy in 2014 enhancing his skills in the diagnosis and treatment of musculoskeletal conditions.  He has a particular interest in sports medicine and is always keen on extending his knowledge in the “hands on” approach to physiotherapy.

Peter and his wife Keryn (another one of our physios) moved to Wellington in 2011 from his home town Auckland, mostly for a change of scenery but also to be closer to family and friends.

While in Auckland Peter was a physio for a number of sports clubs and representative rugby teams including the North Harbour Sevens, Colts and Maori teams as well as the Northcote Premier and Senior 1st club rugby teams who he also played for a few years ago.  Since arriving in Wellington he has worked with the successful Wellington Sevens team winning the national title in 2014 and has continued work with the medical team at the Wellington International Sevens.

Peter still has a passion for rugby and is a keen runner and can often be seen running around the waterfront or up Mt Vic.  He regularly participates in the Porirua Grand Traverse and Crazyman events with the Capital Sports Medicine team and also enjoys mountain biking on some our fabulous bike tracks around Wellington.

Helen McKendrey


About Helen

Dip Phty, Dip MT, PGDip HSc (Rehab)
Director Capital Sports Medicine

Helen has worked in physiotherapy for more than 30 years in both New Zealand and the UK. She gained her Diploma of Physiotherapy from Otago Polytechnic in 1988, and also has a Postgraduate Diploma in Manipulative Therapy and a Postgraduate Diploma in Rehabilitation – which included ultrasound imaging and breathing related studies – bad breathing patterns can really interfere with how your whole system works. She joined Capital Sports Medicine as a director in 1997.

Helen is particularly interested in recurring injuries that stem from poor body mechanics. Like when your sore back is actually caused by your over tight hamstring, or how your previous injuries are inter-linked. She looks at how the body works as a whole, and whether weakness or tightness of some muscle groups is putting too much strain on others, and causing re-injury. From there she develops exercise programmes to address the problem area and soft tissue work or mobilisation as required.

Outside of work, Helen keeps herself fit with a bit of yoga, swimming and trail running as well as mountain-biking, and doing crazy navigational stuff – she doesn’t always know where she is but always knows where home and a hot shower is! She also teaches kids to MTB with WORD (Wellington Off-road Riding Department) – sharing the love of riding, one ride at a time!

Keryn Matheson


About Keryn

Director Capital Sports Medicine

Keryn became part of the Capital Sports Medicine team in 2012, when she moved back to Wellington from Auckland with her husband Peter, another Capital Sports physiotherapist.

Keryn grew up on the Kapiti Coast and originally studied in Wellington. She completed two degrees – in Physical Education, majoring in Exercise Prescription and a commerce degree in Management – before moving to Auckland to continue her education in Physiotherapy. She graduated from the Physiotherapy School at AUT in 2008 and has a real passion for helping patients return to pre-injury health in a functional way.

Keryn has worked with a wide range of sports teams. Working with a number of representative and premier rugby teams. She was also part of the medical team supporting players at the busy North Shore Netball Courts.

Outside of work Keryn is kept busy running around with her two very active boys. She also loves mountain biking, running and the odd Adventure Race.

Chris Cheesmore


About Chris


Chris brings more than 20 years of experience in physiotherapy working in a range of countries and environments. He has been in New Zealand and at Capital Sports Medicine for the past 10 years.

Chris is a keen mountain runner and mountain biker (sometimes he even manages to stay on his bike!). He has participated in various events in the local and wider area such as Crazyman and The Goat all with varying degrees of failure

He has a broad base of skills but given the propensity of mountain biking carnage in Wellington and crazy ultra-running guys/girls around, he is often in demand for these areas. More recently he has been progressing his knowledge in the area of modern concepts around pain management and rehabilitation.

Nikki Kennedy


About Nikki

BHSc Physiotherapy 

Nikki joined the team at Capital Sports Medicine after returning from the UK in 2015.

Nikki brings over 20 years of physiotherapy experience to the team. Graduating from AUT with a BHSC Physiotherapy , she then went on to train in pilates and acupuncture -becoming a Registered Physiotherapy Acupuncturist.

In her earlier years a physiotherapist, Nikki worked with a wide range of representative sports teams. She then went on to fill all her spare time with her own sporting endeavours including indoor, outdoor and gaelic football, indoor netball and touch rugby. On returning from the UK, Nikki dusted of her dancing shoes and immersed herself in salsa and kizomba and more recently samba.

Having done ballet into her late teens and with her love of dancing, Nikki has a keen interest in dancing injuries. However she enjoys the variety of injuries that Capital Sports brings.

Hazel Lund


About Hazel

Hazel joined the Capital Sports Medicine team at the beginning of 2014 after moving up the country from Christchurch where she worked for the previous 5 years at a multi-disciplinary sports medicine clinic.  She originates from England and came over to travel and work. She ended up falling in love with the Kiwi land and a Kiwi man so decided to stay.

Hazel has a keen interest in running related injuries. She works for the Wellington Extra Mile Runners as a running coach and physiotherapist providing muscle balance screenings and running gait assessments.  She works with a diverse range of runners from complete beginners aiming to run 5km through to experienced runners training for half and full marathons.

Hazel completed a Post Graduate Diploma in Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy in 2016 and is a member of Physiotherapy/Sports Physiotherapy New Zealand.

Up until a few years ago she was a keen hockey player playing in the premier league, however nowadays she is kept busy with her two little boys.  She works closely with the Capital Women’s Football team and was their team physiotherapist in 2019 and 2021. She is also a running coach for Wellington Extra Mile Runners.

Jimmy Tie


About Jimmy

Jimmy joined Capital Sports Medicine in 2022, after spending some time away from sports physiotherapy to work with children with developmental difficulties in the education sector. He had previously worked as a musculoskeletal physiotherapist in the Wellington CBD prior to having a stint in paediatric physiotherapy and is very happy to be back in the area of physiotherapy that is his main passion.

Jimmy enjoys dealing with all aspects of injuries, from early pain management right through to end-stage return-to-sport testing. He likes to have a hands-on approach to treatment early on to reduce pain and increase function, and then progress exercises specifically to suit the patient’s needs and goals. Jimmy has been looking after the Seatoun Central League Women’s football team since 2023, as well as working with the Capital Women’s U20’s football team over the last couple of years alongside Hazel (another physio at Capital Sports Medicine). He has also completed his foundation course in Dry Needling.

Outside of physiotherapy Jimmy is passionate about many different sports, and competed in cross-country running at an international level in his younger days. These days he plays football, tennis, the odd game of social netball, and golf mainly, as well and some strength and conditioning in the gym to complement his running.

Jen Brennan


About Jen

Jen is a senior physiotherapist with nearly 30 years’ experience working in London and New Zealand in private practice.  She has a special interest in the kinetic chain and how everything connects especially posture and how this influences your sport, running and workouts.

Along with treating the present issue, she is also focused on why some injuries occur and the influence of poor movement patterns, past injuries, and core weakness.

She has a postgraduate diploma in manual therapy and manipulation along with training in Women’s Health, Milligan, McKenzie, and dry needling techniques.

When not working at the clinic Jen runs a Pilates class in Northland and does worksite assessments around town. She lives in Ngaio with her partner, two children, four chickens and a dog. Her interests include tramping, skiing, sailing, and gardening. She also practices tai chi and recently started doing Scottish country dancing!

Megan Symons


About Megan

Meg has returned to CSM after 18 months living and working abroad.  We are really excited to have her back on our Physiotherapy team!
Meg graduated from the UK’s University of Birmingham in 2015, spending her first three years of clinical practice working in Bristol’s regional major trauma centre. Here she gained invaluable experience working on intensive care, orthopaedics and musculoskeletal outpatients, rehabbing complex multi-traumas and head injuries. Alongside this role she worked privately providing rehab in a hydrotherapy pool for clients with chronic pain conditions.
Since moving to Wellington she spent her first 18 months working for CAPE physio in Kelburn , where she had experience working with Wellington college sport and Wellington’s axemen premier rugby team.
Outside of work, Meg is a keen Netball player. Alongside this Meg tries to keep her exercise varied playing social indoor netball, touch rugby, biking and running around the bays and swimming.

Fiona Fulton

Headache Consultant

About Fiona

Bachelor of Health Science (Physiotherapy)
PG Diploma (Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy)

Fiona has an extensive history of working with vestibular, headache and concussion patients in various capacities, including working with the Concussion Service in the Wellington region.

Working with these patients has fueled her passion for assisting and facilitating people’s wellbeing.

Working at The Headache Clinic has enabled her to exclusively treat vestibular, headache and concussion patients and help patients get the most out of life.

Rachel Thwaite

Rachel Thwaite

Clinical Massage Therapist

About Rachel

Level 6 Diploma in Clinical Remedial Massage, BTEC in Therapeutic Massage and Yoga Teacher Training +200 hours. Registered with Massage NZ.

Rachel, originally from the UK, is a manual sports therapist that utilizes yoga movement & breathing practices weaving them into her treatments and prescribed homecare. She is the current Massage Therapist for The Central Pulse Netball Team 2021.

During her time as a massage therapist she has also worked with Saints Basketball Team, New Zealand College of Dance, the Sharks Rugby league, and has a particular interest in work with Runners (IronMan/Marathon & Trail) Rachel uses an individualised approach for the clients’ treatment needs, using a combination of techniques: soft tissue massage, gentle joint mobilisation, silicon cupping, dry needling, muscle energy techniques, yoga exercises and breathing techniques (to help breathing disorders/ stress / & sports performance). Helping to promote optimal functional movement for her clients to both move and breath with ease in their chosen sport and life. In her free time, Rachel likes to be out in Nature and keeping active, you can find her whizzing around the city on her bike, in the ocean Freediving, on the mat practicing yoga/meditation or hiking/trail running in the bush or up mountains.

Nadja Carina Blank

Nadja Blank

Clinical Massage Therapist

About Nadja

Nadja is passionate about helping people feel free and at ease in their movements, allowing them to find joy in their sports and activities of daily living. Therapeutic massage can make all the difference in modulating pain and how you perceive your body, creating a new awareness of how the body moves.

Everybody is different and she welcomes you with a new curiosity each time to tailor the treatment to your current needs while keeping the bigger picture in mind. Treatments can include cupping, muscle energy and myofascial techniques, as well as deep tissue. And yes, you will get exercises to take away so you can move better for longer before you want to come back for your regular maintenance.

When she doesn’t massage, she likes to turn life upside down learning new circus skills and teaching pole dance.


Neeraj Nambiath

Clinical Massage Therapist

About Neeraj

My philosophy

I have a strong desire to be a catalyst for change. I believe the intention to heal and grow plays an important part in recovery. My role is to invoke and promote that intention in others just as much as I apply bodywork techniques.

What drives me

I’m driven to work with people who are enthusiastic to recover and improve in any physical activity they participate in. My passion for martial arts and my understanding of the recovery process the body undertakes after high intensity physical activity motivates me to help others receive the same benefits that I have from massage therapy. Ultimately my intention is to show the benefits of massage therapy to a wider community.

What makes me unique

My experience as a therapist trained in anatomy and manual therapy techniques coupled with active participation in combat sports gives me a strong understanding of the body and a unique approach to body work.

Nicole Wijngaarden


About Nicole

Personal Growth Coach

My Coaching Mission

My mission is to help you gain new awareness around your challenges and arm you with practical tools and techniques so that you learn to become your own guru.

Why A Life Coaching Appointment?

Are you or a loved one looking for help with a relationship or a mental health challenge? Or are you looking for your next steps in your personal growth and awareness? Nicole Wijngaarden is a Life & Relationship Coach, working with clients on high stress, mental health, and relationship challenges, with a great success rate.

If you would like practical coaching with a focus on positive results and living a happier life, get in touch today. Call Capital Sports Medicine in the Wellington CBD on 04 499 5732 to make a booking.

Mr. Rob Rowan


About Rob

Orthopaedic Surgeon

Rob Rowan is an Orthopaedic Surgeon with subspecialty training in upper limb surgery and paediatric orthopaedics.

When Rob is at Capital Sports Medicine, he tends to patients with hand, elbow, shoulder and knee conditions. Of particular interest to Rob are sports related injuries and arthroscopic (keyhole) surgery.

Ben Darlow

Specialist Physio

About Ben

BPhty, MSportPhysio, PhD, MPNZ

Ben has over twenty years’ experience as a musculoskeletal physiotherapist. He completed a Masters of Sports Physiotherapy at Curtin University (Perth) in 2002 and a PhD at Otago University in 2014. Ben is also an Associate Professor in the Department of Primary Health Care and General Practice at the University of Otago, Wellington. His areas of research include low back pain, osteoarthritis and interprofessional collaboration.

What is a Physiotherapy Specialist?

The Physiotherapy Board of New Zealand created the Physiotherapy Specialist scope of practice to recognise expert physiotherapists who have advanced clinical skills and knowledge, and who contribute to the profession through leadership and research. Ben was registered as a Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy Specialist in 2015.

More information can be found at:

To book an appointment with Ben call Janet on 04 499 5732