Emma Putaura

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.

Current occupation:

Iron Armour Academy

Melbourne Rebels Rugby Development Officer


Previous work:

Youth Work Coordinator (Mission Australia, Sydney) 2007-2011



Smart Rugby, Coaching Kids Rugby, Level 1 & 2 Rugby coach


Coaching Experience:

2013 Victorian Schoolboys’ Under 12s

Sporting Achievements:

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