They have been featured in national and international media including ABC News, TVNZ, Radio New Zealand, and Maori Television.
Dr. Kate Riegle van WestSpinPoi was founded by Dr. Kate Riegle van West, a scientist, artist, and entrepreneur with a passion for play and wellbeing. Kate completed her PhD in the health benefits of Poi at the University of Auckland, where she conducted the first study to scientifically investigate the effects of Poi on physical and cognitive function. She was awarded the Future Leader Award from the Royal Society of New Zealand and the Best Doctoral Thesis Award for her work in the poi/health field.
From a young age, Kate gravitated toward climbing on things/hanging upside down/causing general panic for her parents. At age 7 she joined a youth circus in the USA and immediately knew the circus was her home. It was also where she eventually discovered Poi, an unassuming sock with a weight in the end that completely spun her life around (pun intended). Kate continued performing and coaching circus throughout her studies and career as a digital artist, web designer, and musician but became frustrated with the lack of evidence around Poi as a tool for improving health. At age 28 she left her job at Harvard University and moved to New Zealand, where Poi began, to pursue a Ph.D. on a ball on a cord.