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The Project, TV3

The Project features SpinPoi’s work in aged care, including interviews with SpinPoi founder Kate and retirement village residents

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Future Leader Award

Poi research wins the prestigious Future Leader Award from The Royal Society of New Zealand with this 3 minute video.

SpinPoi on ABC News

FEB 2020: ABC News covers the SpinPoi classes happening at the Northeastern Senior Center in Pennsylvania, USA.

NZ North Island Tour

FEB 2020: For the month of February SpinPoi hits the road across New Zealand to support health care and aged care organizations in implementing poi programs.

Aged Care Guides Available in Print

JAN 2020: Two poi in aged care guides have been revamped and are the first i resources to be available in print from the SpinPoi shop.

Routine Videos Beginner Series

JAN 2020: The SpinPoi Beginner Routines series is released, featuring two beautiful poi routines and step-by-step tutorial videos.

Presentation at U21 Leaders Conference

Oct 2019: Dr. Kate Riegle van West presents poi research and a hands-on workshop to Deputy Vice-Chancellors from universities across the globe at the Universitas 21 Senior Leader Conference.

Velocity 100K Award

Oct 2019: SpinPoi takes second place in the University of Auckland Velocity 100K Challenge for entrepreneurs, winning $15k in seed capital and a place in the VentureLab incubator.

Nelson-Tasman Training

AUG 2019: SpinPoi teams up with Age Concern Nelson Tasman to deliver a series of trainings for health care and age care professionals on poi as a therapeutic intervention.

Article in Stuff News

AUG 2019: An article entitled "Nelson-Tasman poi workshops offer hands-on help for health" is released by Stuff in anticipation of the Nelson SpinPoi workshops.

Presentation at NZSDRT

AUG 2019: SpinPoi presents two workshops for age care professionals at the New Zealand Diversional & Recreational Therapists National Conference.

Routine Videos for Aged Care

AUG 2019: New resources for poi in aged care are released with this package of 4 routine videos for older adults.

Best Doctoral Thesis

MAY 2019: The University of Auckland awards Dr. Kate Riegle van West the Faculty of Creative Arts and Industries Prize for Best Doctoral Thesis, 2018.

PAC Certification Launches

MAY 2019: The first SpinPoi instructor certification launches with the Poi in Aged Care (PAC) Rest Home & Hospital Certification.

Dementia Auckland Article

FEB 2019: MindMatters Issue 24 from Dementia Auckland features an article on Spinoi and how twirling a weight on a cord may improve cognitive function.

Article in JAPA

FEB 2019: An article detailing the results of the first scientific study on poi and health is published in the peer-reviewed Journal of Aging and Physical Activity.

Fundamentals Course

FEB 2019: SpinPoi launches the first comprehensive video course aimed at facilitators, focused on the fundamentals of poi for all ages and abilities.

History of Poi video

JAN 2019: Learn about the origins of poi and how it spread across the globe in this new video about the history of poi.

Presentation at FitEx

NOV 2018: Research on poi and health is presented at the FitEx conference, which features the latest in science and business for the fitness and exercise industry.

Story on The Project

NOV 2018: New Zealand current affairs show features Kate's work with poi and health at Selwyn retirement village, including interviews with residents and staff

Aged Care Guides

OCT 2018: New resources for poi in aged care are launched, providing a framework for implementing poi programs in aged care facilities across different levels of care.

Article in Newsroom

JULY 2018: The article "What poi can do for your health" features an interview with Kate regarding her research and her post PhD poi/health endeavors.

Article in IJA

JULY 2018: The International Jugglers Association interviews Kate about growing up in the circus, and the path that led her to pursue PhD research on poi and health.

Heroes Campaign

JULY 2018: Kate was featured in the Unleash Your Potential Heroes Campaign, which showcases University of Auckland alumni who are innovators in their careers.

Poi PhD Complete

JUNE 2018: The first PhD on poi, health, and older adults was awarded from the University of Auckland to the now Dr. Kate Riegle van West. Click to read the full dissertation.

Innovation Challenge Award

MAY 2018: Kate wins the Velocity Innovation Challenge Social Entrepreneurship prize for her innovative work in the field of poi and health.

Collaboration with Selwyn

APRIL 2018: A collaboration between Kate and the Selwyn Village Diversional Therapy Team has begun, to create a poi/health program and resources for Selwyn staff and residents.

Kūtere film launches

FEB 2018: Kūtere begins with a heartbeat. A single poi calling out in the space between ground and sky. Between forest and city. Between where we’ve come from and where we’re going...(click to watch)

Spread in International Prospectus

NOV 2017: An interview with Kate is featured in the University of Auckland 2018 International Prospectus, representing "Research and Innovation at the University."

Article on Over Sixty

OCT 2017: "The exercise every over-60 should be doing." Tracy Adshead interviews Kate Riegle van West about the health benefits of poi for older adults in this article on

Interview on Ready Steady Learn

OCT 2017: Kate speaks about how learning new things (like poi!) can be fun and good for your health on 95bFM's Ready Steady Learn.

Winner of Future Leader Award

SEPT 2017: Poi research wins the prestigious Future Leader Award from The Royal Society Te Apārangi Early Career Researcher (ECR) Forum. The competition celebrates postgraduate students innovations and discoveries.

Interview on TVNZ 1 News

JULY 2017: TVNZ One News interviews poi study participant Marlene Stratton along with Kate Riegle van West to discuss the health benefits of poi for older adults.

Story on Radio NZ

JULY 2017: Radio New Zealand article weaves together scientific data and interviews with kapa haka performer Puti Mackey, poi research participant Jocelyn Fausett, and researcher Kate Riegle van West.

Interview on TVNZ Te Karere

JULY 2017: Hania Douglas from Te Karere, a New Zealand news and current affairs programme broadcast in the Māori language, interviews Kate and study participant Marlene.

Interview on Māori Television

JULY 2017: Te Kāea, Māori Television nightly news interviews Kate and her participants about the first research study on poi, and opportunities to continue poi / health research in the future.

Interview on Waatea News

JULY 2017: Dale Husband from Parakuihi Breakfast with Dale interviews Kate about her poi research study and the benefits of poi on physical and cognitive function in healthy older adults.

Article on NewsHub

JULY 2017: Poi the 'gold standard of exercise for older adults' - Practising poi has benefits on physical and cognitive function in healthy older adults, an Auckland University study has concluded.

Aspire Conference

JULY 2017: Presentation at the Auckland University Professional Staff Conference on the trials and tribulations of following your passion, and how sometimes innovation and inspiration can be found where you'd least expect.

Study Results Released

JUNE 2017: After a year and a half long clinical trial with 79 healthy older adults, the results are in! Both the Tai Chi group and the Poi group improved balance, grip strength, memory, and attention after one month of practice.

Patreon campaign launched

MARCH 2017: Making a living off of a ball on a cord isn't easy! Patreon is an ongoing crowdfunding site where you can donate as little as $1 a month and help support poi research, plus get exclusive updates and rewards!

Article in the Times Higher Education

JANUARY 2017: "How I overcame rejection to turn my love of poi into research: Kate Riegle van West had to battle to bring her circus life and her academic life together...”

Article in Ingenio magazine

DECEMBER 2016: "Dance Studies doctoral student, Kate Riegle van West, is conducting the first research study to measure the effects of International Poi on physical and cognitive function in healthy older adults.

Fund the Flow Arts grant recipient

NOVEMBER 2016: SpinPoi was a recipient of the 2016-17 Seed Grant Cycle from Fund the Flow Arts, a US-based nonprofit organization established to present and promote the Flow Arts globally.

Story on Newstalk ZB

NOVEMBER 2016: "A researcher who is looking into the health benefits of twirling a poi is in a spin after winning a hard-fought global thesis competition. Kate Riegle van West came all the way from the US to study at Auckland University..."

Article in Chilean Newspaper El Mercurio

NOVEMBER 2016: Poi research and the 3 Minute Thesis competition win are featured in El Mercurio, a national circulation newspaper from Chile.

Three Minute Thesis international winner

NOVEMBER 2016: Kate was awarded 1st place in the International U21 3MT competition! "From circus performer to award winning doctoral candidate...Kate’s win reminds us that excellent students come from all walks of life."

Research presented at active ageing conference

SEPTEMBER 2016: Preliminary results of the poi and health trial were presented at the New Zealand Association of Gerontology 2016 "Making active ageing a reality" conference in Wellington, NZ.

3 Minute Thesis Auckland University winner

SEPTEMBER 2016: Kate was announced the Doctoral Winner and the People's Choice of the University of Auckland 2016 Three Minute Thesis competition. She will go on to compete at the Asia / Pacific competition in Brisbane.

Article by Flow Arts Institute

AUGUST 2016: "For many of us in the Flow Arts, we are aware there is a connection between spinning and our personal wellness. One of the people leading the way in this area is Kate Riegle van West..."

Poi for your health on TV ONE

JULY 2016: Tim Wilson from TV ONE's Seven Sharp gives poi a go and speaks with Kate about International Poi's potential to keep older adults physically and cognitively fit.

Interview on Radio New Zealand

JULY 2016: Kathryn Ryan from Radio New Zealand's Nine to Noon program interviews Kate about the poi clinical trial, what she's found out so far, and implications for the future.

Article in University of Auckland News

JUNE 2016: A pākehā from America studying poi? I am often met with confusion, curiosity, and sometimes skepticism when explaining my research on poi and health...

Interview with Seniors News

JUNE 2016: Seniors Newspaper speaks with Kate at the International Federation on Ageing 13th Global Conference in Australia, where she presented the preliminary results of the poi clinical trial.

Research presented at two international conferences

JUNE 2016: Preliminary results of the poi and health trial were presented at two international conferences, the International Federation on Ageing 13th Global Conference in Brisbane, and the World Congress on Active Ageing in Melbourne.

Poi/health documentary released

JUNE 2016: A short documentary on the first clinical trial to measure the effects of poi on physical and cognitive function in healthy older adults. Click to view!

Poi research study launches

MARCH 2016: Forty healthy older adults began a clinical trial at the University of Auckland, to see if there is an effect of poi on physical and cognitive function.

Article in New Zealand Herald

JANUARY 2016: An article about the upcoming poi research study was released in local Auckland newspapers: "There are hidden health benefits behind one of the oldest Maori traditions. This is what student Kate Riegle-Van West is trying to prove..."

Crowdfunding campaign successful

JULY 2015: Thanks to many generous donors, SpinPoi raised enough money to conduct the first clinical trial to measure the effects of poi on physical and cognitive function in healthy older adults.

DEMO Magazine feature

MAY 2014: Kate and the Orbitar were featured in the Columbia College Chicago DEMO Magazine article "Top 20s: Alumni Making Their Mark in Careers They Love"

Poi at TEDx

DECEMBER 2013: Kate performs with The Orbitar at TEDx Beacon Street, and talks about the power of poi as a tool for play, and its future potential everywhere from schools to nursing homes.

Orbitar featured at Salisbury University

AUGUST 2011: The Orbitar is featured in the Electronic Art Gallery at Salisbury University during their "Summer Shorts" Exhibition.

Orbitar, new poi musical instrument, debut

MAY 2011: The Orbitar, a new digital instrument rooted in poi which creates live audio soundscapes, had its debut performance at the Stage Two Theatre in Chicago. Click to view a video of the show.

Presentation at CAA 2011 Conference

FEB 2011: As part of the New Media Caucus at the 2011 College Arts Association Conference, Kate spoke about The Orbitar on the Instrument as Artwork as Interface panel. Her research was also published in the Media-N Journal following the conference.

Poi video shown at Digital Graffiti Festival

JUNE 2010: The Geometry of Poi, originally a 4 channel video installation, was a finalist at the International Digital Graffiti Festival in Florida, where it was projected life size on the side of a building during the festival.