Les Mills


1 November 1934


Shot Put
Discus Throw


Western Suburbs Athletic Club

Les Mills may be best known as the “father of fitness” and founder of the iconic gym empire in his name but for athletics aficionados he will be forever known for his feats as a top-class international shot and discus thrower.

A four-time Olympian, five-time Commonwealth medallist and 25-time national champion, Les enjoyed a lengthy career at the top, which spanned three decades and two distinct generations of New Zealand athletics.

Self-coached for much of his career, and with an insatiable thirst for knowledge, Les embraced innovative training techniques throughout his career and such was his all-round athletic ability he also represented his country at the sport of weightlifting.

Born in New Lynn in West Auckland but raised for much of his youth in the central Auckland suburb of Grey Lynn, Les described himself as a “sickly child.” Yet the trajectory of his life was to change at the age of 11 when a recruiter from the newly formed Western Suburbs ...