Director, Mentor, Skills and Development Coach, Fitness Trainer
Chris Aho is the Founding Director of Iron Armour Academy, with the vision identified when he was a Youth Leader at Inspire Church in 2006. This is where Chris developed a passion for wanting to help athletes to become the best, not only on the field but off the field. Through his time at Inspire Church, ‘Christ in Athletes’ was formed (a group of 30 young men, aspiring athletes sharing the word of God), becoming a stepping stone to what we now call ‘Iron Armour Academy’.
Growing up in NZ, Chris was trained and prepared for the ‘game of rugby’. It wasn’t until moving to Australia as a 21 year old with no money, only a bag of clothes, rugby boots and an address, where he learned to become independent. He was able to endure living without food, homesickness and other adversities by always knowing that coming to Australia was more than just Rugby, but to find himself and his purpose. After 8 months, with the support from his mentors, was able to find God and prepare himself for the ‘game of life’ – something most players don’t get taught, but something he became passionate to share.
His rugby career, work experience and ultimately the passion to serve God and share the Good News, have been the driving factors to building up an organisation to help stand in the gap for young athletes today.
Since moving to Melbourne, Chris reconnected with now fellow IAA founders Marcell Putaura and Tia Suemai, (whom he knew back in NZ through Rugby and School), where he found that they too were interested in seeing this vision come to pass, blessed that they wanted to also come on board to support the cause.
Together with Marcell & Tia, and alongside his wife, Rochell Aho, also a director, Iron Armour Academy was established in 2013. Iron Armour Academy is now moving from strength to strength with the foundations built on the Rock that is Jesus Christ – the heart that is, to mentor and equip these young athletes so that they too build relationship with Jesus and to ‘shine the light’ wherever they may be, on and off the field.
Iron Armour Academy
Melbourne Rebels Rugby Development Officer
Youth Work Coordinator (Mission Australia, Sydney) 2007-2011
Smart Rugby, Coaching Kids Rugby, Level 1 & 2 Rugby coach
2013 Victorian Schoolboys’ Under 12s
2014Melbourne University first grade rugby (Co-Captain)
2013 Tonga selects XV vs. Western Force
2012-2013 Power House first grade rugby
2011 Tonga (a) Pacific Rim Cup Tour
2010-2011 Penrith Emus first grade rugby
Awarded: Coach’s Player of the Year, Player’s Player of the Year, Best Forward of the Year
2010 Tonga (a) Americas cup (Argentina)
2009 Southern Districts first grade rugby
2007-2008 West Harbour first grade rugby
2006 Eastern Suburbs first grade rugby, ACT Brumbies APC squad
2005 Newtown Jets Rugby League Premier League Team
2004 New Zealand colt’s final trialists
2003 North Harbour colts, North Harbour Seven’s
2002 Auckland Secondary School Sportsman of the Year finalists
2002 New Zealand under 19s world cup champions (Venice Italy)
2001 New Zealand (a) rugby squad
2001 New Zealand school boys UK/France tour
2000 Kelston Boys First XV South African Tour Squad
1999 Auckland under 16’s
1998 Auckland under 15’s
1997 Auckland Athletics Team