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Co-Founder’s Note

“Growing up I never liked the way I looked; I was a chubby teenager that loved food a little too much. I had this distorted view that if I looked a certain way I would be happier and more people would like me. I then made up my mind that I was going to do everything I could to get my dream body, I was 110% committed to finding this happiness.

The next few years involved me drinking every diet tea, shake, pill known to man and working out obsessively, 3-4 hours a day. Two years later and 15 kilograms lighter, I squeezed into a size UK6 dress.

As I looked in the mirror I should’ve felt happy, but I felt like it wasn’t enough. “I can do better, I can do more”, I thought – over the next few years my weight fluctuated between unhealthy food binges and guilt tripping myself for days right after.

Here I was, always hungry and tired, hated what I saw in the mirror – I gave up.

Years of wrong turns and mistakes later, I’m learning that health is not a dress size or a number on the weighing scale.”

KOA started off as a simple idea to create a safe space for women to work out and seek health guidance. Our purpose is to convey a positive mindset on not just body image, but health too. Too often do we see women struggling with their body image, and striving for unrealistic body goals. Our aim is to inspire every woman to be the best version of herself, a version that doesn’t conform to anyone’s expectations but her own.

Our philosophy towards health and fitness? We believe it’s all about maintaining a sustainable lifestyle. Life is to be enjoyed, not filled with food restrictions and punishments. A healthy lifestyle is a journey, and it’s all about striking a balance between health and the hectic happenings of life, which is something we all struggle with.

As part of the KOA Tribe, you will never need to worry about feeling lost or intimidated. We pass no judgement, our community of women are accepting and will welcome you with open arms. Even if it’s your first time stepping into a gym and you’re unsure of where to start, we’ve got you. We’re always here to lend a helping hand.

At KOA, we’re more than a community – we’re the KOA Tribe.

Say hello to the KOA Tribe

Marie Ng

Co-founder, Head Coach, Operations Maestro

Areas of Expertise: Rehabilitation, Fat Loss, Strength Training, Life Coach

An Australian Strength Performance Coach and NASM certified personal trainer with years of experience, she is a role model to the KOA coaches and her clients. As a woman, Marie admitted to being intimidated with working out in a gym full of guys, and she wanted to create a safe space for women to workout at.

Her vision for a place where women can throw away the cliché that women are weak and can’t lift lead to the creation of KOA Fitness. Marie’s goals and motivation are to make a positive impact on others, and we can definitely say by creating this space for women, she has accomplished that.

Classes you’ll find her in:

Why do you personally love the gym?
I get to lift heavy s**t

What is one thing you want people to know about you?
I can’t multitask

What is your favourite song to scream in the car to?
Taylor Swift – Love Story (shh, don’t tell anyone)

Jamie Yap

Senior Coach, Operations Ninja & Social Media Sensei

Areas of Expertise: Fat Loss, Strength Training, Life Coach

An NASM certified personal trainer, Jamie got into fitness because she saw too much sickness around her, which wasn’t just painful for the sick but for the people around too, including herself. She started off her fitness journey by running half marathons followed by CrossFit and now, she just wants to be healthy and #feelWOWnaked!

Aside from fitness, she enjoys writing - poetry especially!

Classes you’ll find her in:

Your ultimate guilty pleasure

Fav playlist to work out to
Lo-Fi Beats

The one thing you want people to know about you
I wasn’t athletic at all in school. PE was my least favourite subject. Oh well…

Linora Low

Coach Ambassador

Areas of Expertise: Fat Loss, Body Composition and Nutrition

Linora is our talented emcee, fitness personality, entrepreneur and ACE certified trainer. In the gym you can be inspired by her rigorous training sessions, learn how to become stronger and be more badass versions of yourself. The KOA Queen of meal prepping, she teaches us all to become healthier from the inside out.

Linora consistently proves to her clients and students that being at the gym and working out is more than just for aesthetics, but to encourage positive mindsets, push limits, and support fellow girls at the gym. She shares her experience, knowledge and tells you its ok when you have cake from time to time on her podcast FitJieJie on Spotify.

Classes you’ll find her in:

Your fitness idols
Arnold Schwarzenegger and Hattie Boydle

Fav part of your body to work out
The two Bs; back and butt

Movie you’d want to star in if they made a reboot
Red Sonja

Aainaa Hashim

Community Liaison & Marketing Warrior

Aainaa became a KOA member in 2017 and joined the KOA team in 2019, after 4 years in advertising. And she hasn’t looked back since! Having grown up with a Psychiatrist mother, Aainaa strongly believes that mental health is just as important as physical health.

She’s a walking radio, who you can often find singing & bopping to songs in the gym, even if there aren’t any songs playing!

The one thing you want people to know about you?
Yes, I really do have 4 As in my name.

Fav song to work out to?
Little Bit of This – Vince Staples

Your spirit animal?
I’m a cat, meoooow

Mawar Mukim

Elite Coach, Group Class Instructor

Areas of Expertise: Fat Loss, Strength Training, Women Specialist

Mawar strongly believes that our biggest flaws can be turned into our biggest assets. Mawar got into fitness after battling obesity for most of her life. At her heaviest, she was 120kg!

Thankfully, she was able to find her very first tribe at an all-women's gym while living in Australia - the warmth and encouragement from her gym-mates and trainers pushed her to train hard. Mawar has been in love with fitness ever since, and decided to gain certifications in fitness, nutrition and pilates, and intensive personal training in strength and conditioning.

P.S. If you ever see her let her head down in the gym, it will be just to pick up her barbell.

Classes you’ll find her in:

Your ultimate guilty pleasure
Maggie curry with 3 eggs and tons of chillies

Your motivation at the gym
Fall seven times, stand up eight

Your spirit animal

June Khoo

Elite Coach, Group Class Instructor

Areas of Expertise: Functional Training, Athlete Training, Performance Enhancement Specialist

Elite Coach June’s fitness journey started 8 years ago, and fitness has helped change her mindset from wanting to “lose weight & be skinny” to “be strong and capable”. A chef-at home, she puts in as much crunch time as she does munch time! Patient yet stern, she finds joy in seeing her clients getting stronger every week. She wants you to know that the first step to working out may be scary, but it is SO very rewarding when you start seeing the results.

Classes you’ll find her in:

Your ultimate guilty pleasure
A bag of Nachos in hand, flopped on the beanbag, maybe a glass of wine while I Netflix and Chill. Yes, fitness coaches have those days too… We’re only human!

Fav song to work out to
I don’t have a favourite song per say, but I listen to a mix of genres which consist of Latino, EDM and Pop. You can hear some of them in my classes!

Your spirit animal

Lee Ann Toh

Senior Coach

Areas of Expertise: Fat Loss, Fitness for Active Elders

Exercising regularly assisted Lee Ann into slowly embracing a healthier sustainable lifestyle which she’s keen to share with others! Having played many sports including badminton, squash, rock climbing, track & field to name a few, her current love is snowboarding which she unfortunately cannot do as often. An ACE certified personal trainer, Lee Ann joined KOA because she believes that strength training for women is highly essential and beneficial for women of all ages.

Your ultimate guilty pleasure
A solidly packed cheeseburger and fries! (A rare treat, mind you!)

Fav song to work out to
Girls & Boys by Blur

Your motivation at the gym
That I’m investing in my future mature self. I hope to keep mobile and agile for a very long time!

Tribe Members
Gym Space