Archives: News

Dr. Kate Riegle van West of SpinPoi is interviewed live on BBC World News TV by Kasia Madera to discuss how poi can help us relax and destress amongst the COVID-19 pandemic.

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

Poi for World Kidney Day
March 2024

SpinPoi teams up with The Kidney Society and New Zealand music duo Aro to debute a poi video targeting key areas to prevent or slow the progression of Kidney Disease for World Kidney Day.

Supporting Next Gen PhDs
November 2023

Dr. Kate Riegle van West presents at three events across the University of Auckland to support the next generation of PhD students in transitioning into the entrepreneurial space.

Circus Talk Interview
March 2023

Dr. Kate Riegle van West of SpinPoi is interviewed on the CircusTalk panel discussion “Bring Your Social Circus To Work Day” hosted by Craig Quat

RVer TV News
January 2023

RVerTV News covers Certified SpinPoi Instructor Rain’s SpinPoi class for older adults at the Quartzsite Senior Center in Arizona.

SpinPoi Asia Pacific Tour
January 2023

SpinPoi sets off on an Asia Pacific tour, providing certification training in Australia and Bali in collaboration with the Bali Flow Temple, Hovi Club, and Hovi Assisted Saba.

Flow Artists Podcast
December 2022

Rane and Jo from the Garden of Yoga interview Dr. Kate Riegle van West on The Flow Artists Podcast, from her youth in a circus in Normal, Illinois through to her PhD in New Zealand.

CIE Newsroom Article
November 2022

“Poi therapy venture spins around the world ” – the University of Auckland Business School & Centre for Entrepreneurship share SpinPoi’s global impact.

TVNZ’s Toi Time
August 2022

SpinPoi’s original waiata “Spin Your Poi”, created in collaboration with Levity Beet and Lu & Tu (Lucy Hiku and Tumanako Tinirau), is featured on the new TVNZ kids show Toi Time.

Functional Juggling Conference
June 2022

SpinPoi presents at the Functional Juggling Conference at Inspiralcircus in Budapest, an event focused on enhancing the accessibility of circus arts for all ages and abilities.

NZ On Air Music Video Grant
April 2022

SpinPoi receives one of 12 New Music Kids grants from New Zealand On Air, to create a music video for the original waiata Tell Me How You Feel.

The Art of Flow Podcast
June 2021

Behavioral Therapist Morgan Dolginow interviews Dr. Kate Riegle van West about her poi/wellbeing career on The Art of Flow podcast. Available on Spotify, iTunes, Soundcloud, Stitcher, Google Play, and YouTube.

Wellbeing Day Out
May 2021

SpinPoi hosts a community poi/health workshop at Wellbeing Day Out in partnership with Oceania Healthcare, Mt Eden Rotary, and the Albert-Eden Local Board.

Vanguard Retreat
May 2021

Dr. Kate Riegle van West is chosen to attend the University of Auckland’s Velocity entrepreneurship development program for high-potential individuals who have demonstrated resilience in pursuing their venture.

Poi for 65+ in Papakura
April 2021

The Auckland Council and Papakura Local Board support a series of SpinPoi workshops and facilitator training to support the 65+ community in Papakura.

SpinPoi Pre-School Pack
March 2021

The first resources for pre-schoolers are released with the Pre-School Pack, a curriculum based resource that utilizes poi to develop key physical and cognitive skills.

Assist and Adapt Podcast
September 2020

In this episode of Assist and Adapt Co-host Maria interviews Dr. Kate Riegle van West and takes a deep dive into SpinPo, the research on poi and health, and how poi can be applied to Parkinson’s, corporate wellness, kids, and seniors.

Interview on BBC World News TV
September 2020

Dr. Kate Riegle van West of SpinPoi is interviewed live on BBC World News TV by Kasia Madera to discuss how poi can help us relax and destress amongst the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mind Body Flow launches
July 2020

SpinPoi and Tai Chi Bruno launch a new virtual class that combines circus arts and meditation techniques to help you relax, centre and revitalise.

Signature Poi Line
July 2020

SpinPoi launches a new line of Signature sock poi and Boutique poi, created by certified SpinPoi instructor Janine Warne of Aged Care Lifestyle Consulting.

Creative NZ Grant
May 2020

SpinPoi is awarded a Creative New Zealand Arts Council Grant towards the development and production of SpinPoi Kids music videos

Sport Wellington Article
February 2020

Following the SpinPoi tour, Sport Wellington releases the article “How Poi Can Improve Your Health” including video footage of the SpinPoi facilitator training session in Wellington.

NZ North Island Tour
February 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.

Velocity 100K Award
October 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
August 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
August 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.

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.

Fundamentals Course
February 2019

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

Presentation at FitEx
November 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
November 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
October 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
February 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…

Article on Over Sixty
October 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

Winner of Future Leader Award
September 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.

Small Island, Big Ideas
September 2017

Kate is one of three University of Auckland researchers invited to present school workshops at the No Barriers – Small Island, Big Ideas Conference on Great Barrier Island.

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 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.

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 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.

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.

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.