Meet The Team

Dr. Jake Pearson

Sports 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 Paralympics NZ, 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, the Rio Paralympics in 2016 as the head of the medical team and is currently preparing for the same role for the Paralympics in Tokyo 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

Sports 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. Lincoln Wharetohunga

Sports and Exercise Registrar

About Lincoln

Sports Medicine Registrar

Ko Tutamoe te Maunga
Ko Waipiro te Moana
Ko Kaihu te Awa
Ko Mahuhu-ki-te-rangi te waka
Ko Ngati Whatua te Iwi
Ko Ngati Hinga te Hapu
Ko Ahikiwi korua ko Taita oku marae
Ko Haratua te tupuna

Ko Punguru ki Papata nga Maunga
Ko Whakapara te Awa
Ko Waipuna te Marae
Ko Wharetohunga te tupuna
Ko Lincoln Wharetohunga taku ingoa

Lincoln completed his medical degree (MBChB) through the University of Auckland and started his medical career in Whangarei hospital. After a year of full time work as a doctor, he decided to pursue his lifelong dream of becoming fluent in Te Reo Maori and undertook a year of full time, full immersion studies in Te Reo Maori. He subsequently returned to Northland to continue his medical work, most recently having been a GP for the past year. Lincoln enjoys living a healthy lifestyle with personal interests in surfing and surf lifesaving. He has been involved with the care of various rugby teams from community clubs through to the representative grades whereby last year he worked with the New Zealand Universities Rugby Team as well as the Mitre 10 Northland Taniwha Rugby Team. Lincoln is keen to further his development in the field of sports and exercise medicine while working at the Capital Sports Medicine Clinic while working as a full time registrar.

Glenn Muirhead

Physiotherapists

About Glenn

BPhty, Dip MT, BPhed with distinction major in Kinesiology

Glenn has over 20 years of experience in sports and general physiotherapy.  All those letters after his name mean he well qualified (two bachelor degrees, one in physical education and another in physiotherapy, and he has a Post Graduate Diploma in Manipulative Therapy) It won’t surprise you that he is constantly in high demand.

It was an end of an era in late 2008 when Glenn finished up as the physiotherapist for the Hurricanes Super 14 so that he could concentrate on his new challenge – Fatherhood.  Glenn has worked for the Junior All Blacks (he worked with the (big) All Blacks during the 2008 season).  Just to show he can see beyond “our national game”, Glenn worked with the world champion NZ Men’s Softball team for three years and now also works with upcoming athletes in the NZ Academy of Sport.

Apart from playing NPC rugby himself for Otago (1989-1990) Glenn has proved he’s still got it by making 3 top 5 finishes in the Speight’s’ Coast to Coast race and despite his age, he is also currently representing NZ in the world kayaking championships. He says the races have given him a stark reminder of the need for physiotherapists.

Helen McKendrey

Physiotherapists

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!

Chris Cheesmore

Physiotherapists

About Chris

BSC (Hons), MNZSP

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.

Peter Matheson

Physiotherapists

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.

Keryn Matheson

Physiotherapists

About Keryn

BHSC, BPhed, BCA, COMT, MPNZ
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.

Nikki Kennedy

Physiotherapists

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

Physiotherapists

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.

Julie Gillmor

Physiotherapists

About Julie

BSc Physiotherapy

Julie moved to Wellington from Ireland at the beginning of 2016 to see all that New Zealand has to offer!

Julie graduated from Trinity College Dublin with a BSc in Physiotherapy and continues learning and developing her skills and knowledge in sports medicine.

Outside of work, Julie has a special interest in gymnastics.  After having trained in the sport for over a decade competitively, in more recent years Julie has focused on coaching and has been coach to gymnasts who have represented Ireland during international events. She has also worked with Irish National and Irish Development squad gymnasts.
As both a coach and a physio, she is interested in how correct technique and biomechanics can both help to rehabilitate and reduce the likelihood of injury.

As part of the Capital Sports Medicine team, Julie is enjoying the variety of conditions encountered and the support network the clinic offers.

Megan Symons

Physiotherapists

About Megan

BHSc Physiotherapy 

Meg moved to Wellington three years ago from the UK , after travelling through New Zealand in 2017 and promising herself she’d be back.

She 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, having had a successful season for SMOG this year, ending in promotion to prems. Alongside this Meg tries to keep her exercise varied playing social indoor netball, touch rugby, biking and running around the bays and swimming. Now summer’s back Meg is keen to start competing in the waterfront 5k and splash and dash!

Katie Vodanovich

Podiatrists

About Katie

BHSc (Podiatry)

Sports and rehabilitation podiatrist Katie Vodanovich has a passion for sports medicine, injury management, gait analysis and paediatrics. She specialises in all clients from the participant in everyday life, to the elite athlete.

Katie operates leading edge dual camera 2D, as well as 3D walking and running assessment technology. With over ten years’ experience, and working within a collaborative environment, Katie can offer comprehensive treatment and management plans to her patients’.

Additionally, Katie is Wellington’s RPW Shockwave expert, helping to reset the body’s natural healing process for those chronic complaints such as heel pain (plantar fasciitis) and Achilles tendinopathy.

Katie is passionate about her work, and it keeps her on her toes along with her husband and two school and preschool aged children!

Bronwyn Easterbrook-Smith

Podiatrists

About Bronwyn

BHSc Podiatry

Bronwyn’s main goal in her work is improving function and comfort of all her clients, whether this be through general nail and skin care, biomechanical assessment and management of foot and lower limb conditions, or footwear advice.

She has worked with the very young, to the older adult and feels comfortable with everything in between. Paediatric podiatry is a special interest to Bronwyn, as she knows how important early intervention and management of conditions can be, from growth plate injuries to ingrown toenails.

Bronwyn is passionate about having podiatry which is available and relevant for all – helping develop the Resonance Podicure for women who want comfortable and beautiful feet, and becoming an expert in utilising the keryflex nail restoration system for people who might be embarrassed about their toenails. She advocates for the benefits of people improving their knowledge of self-care, and confidence in their bodies and feet.

Lana Phillips

Pilates

About Lana

Lana’s appreciation for body awareness and fitness through precise movement started early with classical ballet training. Her career started at age 14 when she was accepted into the junior associate programme at the New Zealand school of dance. She went on to complete her diploma in dance performance and had a varied career working for many New Zealand and overseas choreographers.

Becoming a Pilates instructor was a natural progression for Lana. Inspired by the rehabilitative aspect of Pilates she studied in London to become a fully certified Stott Pilates Instructor. The principles of Stott Pilates were created from exercise science and spinal rehabilitation and are aligned with current scientific and biomechanical research. Because research is continuously evolving Lana will continue ongoing training, attending workshops and courses every year.

Her eye for precision and attention to detail stems from her career as a professional dancer. Lana is passionate about educating people through movement of the body and seeing individuals become more functionally aware of physical habits to improve their lifestyle and prevent injury.

Lana is trained in STOTT PILATES®Mat, Reformer, Cadillac, Chair, Barrels, Injuries and special populations.

Outside of Pilates and dance studios, you are most likely to find Lana outdoors, in the ocean or up the mountain.

Rachel Thwaite

Rachel Thwaite

Sports 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 wheezing 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 Carina Blank

Sports 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.

Pat Hogan

Pat Hogan

Sports Massage Therapist

About Pat

Bachelor in Health Studies (Massage and Neuromuscular Therapy), Health Science Diplomas in Therapeutic Massage and Massage and Sports Therapy. Registered with Massage NZ

Specialising in deep tissue and sports massage techniques that are largely informed by his study in fascial release, physiology, and neurological body work, Pat suceeds in enhancing atheletes’ performance and keeping them pain and dysfunction free.
Pat is certified in Manual Lymphatic Drainage and Combined Decongestive Therapy (Dr Vodder School Int.), a modiality he incorporates into his sports massage.

When Pat is not massaging he can be seen out on his bikes hitting up the sweet trails that Wellington has to offer.

Neeraj

Neeraj Nambiath

Sports 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.

Becky Jones

Sports Dietitian

About Becky

New Zealand Registered Dietitian, IOC Dip Sports Nutrition, PG Dip Nutrition & Dietetics, BSc Sport & Exercise Science

Becky has over 10 years’ experience as a Registered Dietitian in the UK and NZ, and holds the highest level of sports nutrition qualification around, from the International Olympic Committee – so she knows her stuff! Becky has experience helping athletes with digestive issues, particularly during exercise, and can advise on strategies to help overcome these. She is also an ISAK Anthropometrist, meaning she can take advanced level body measurements giving individualised data about body type and skinfolds.

She currently consults to athletes representing NZ through High Performance Sport New Zealand, the Central Pulse Netball team and the Elite New Zealand Underwater Hockey teams.

Specialist areas

  • Adolescent and development athletes
  • Endurance sports
  • Female athlete health and low-energy availability
  • Gut related exercise issues
  • Vegetarian and Vegan advice

Megan Healy

Sports Nutritionist

About Megan

Sports Nutrition Essentials (Sports Dietitians Australia), PG Dip Science and Technology (Human Nutrition), PG Cert Education in Science (Oxon), BA and MA Natural Sciences (Cantab)

Megan has a keen interest in nutrition and in helping her clients to achieve their best in health and being active. She draws on a wealth of knowledge and skills gained from her previous science research work, love of sports and international teaching experience. Megan has undertaken further specialized sports nutrition training through Sports Dietitians Australia, allowing her to provide top sports nutrition advice which is evidence-based.

Megan currently teaches nutrition and consults at the New Zealand School of Dance. She also consults at Te Auaha.

Areas of Practice:

  • Active juniors and busy teens
  • Fuelling and recovery nutrition advice
  • Hydration
  • Body composition assessment
  • Recreational athlete health concerns. For example, a sedentary lifestyle or low iron levels
  • Vegetarian and vegan nutrition advice

Nicole Wijngaarden

Coaching

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

Orthopaedics

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

MUSCULOSKELETAL PHYSIOTHERAPY SPECIALIST
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: www.physiospecialist.co.nz

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