Meet the team

We are a team of dedicated physiotherapists who pride ourselves on getting the right diagnosis every time. This enables our treatment techniques to be focused and specific to help get you ‘better faster’. We believe it is important to consider the biomechanics of the whole body to help gain complete recovery from injuries. We are all sports people ourselves and so understand the need to get back in action as quickly as possible.

What makes us different:

  • We listen to what you say and what your body tells us
  • We get to the origin of your problem, not just treating symptoms
  • We understand you are busy and need to recover quickly
  • We don’t want your injury to come back again either
  • We work with you not for you, to achieve efficient recovery
  • Small lifestyle changes can make a large effect on recovery

Leanna Veal – BPhty, PGDipSpMed, MNZSP


After qualifying I based myself in the UK for 8 years so I could travel far and wide. Here I worked in private practices, mostly with gyms attached to them. During this time I was exposed to a number of high profile athletes who required both efficient manual therapy treatments and tailored, sports specific rehabilitation programs right from initial injury to full return to competition. Here grew my interest in low back and pelvis injuries and the impact of different injuries on lower limb biomechanics and muscle function. I am still dedicated to ongoing professional development in these areas. I pride myself on taking the time to thoroughly assess each patient and work out a treatment plan ensuring the most efficient use of time in each session. My vision is to have a clinic with passionate physios who love what they do and strive to provide the best treatment for each and every person who comes through the door. I have played representative netball, have completed a marathon and did an iron man triathlon in Austria before returning home. Now my interests include running, biking, swimming, playing tennis, functional strength training and spending as much time as I can having fun with my husband and 4 little ratbags!!


Sarah Walker – BPhty, PGCertAcu, MNZSP


Since graduating from Otago University in 2005 I initially worked in a central city gym in Wellington as a physiotherapist, personal trainer and massage therapist as well as working with a wide range of local, national and international athletes in a large variety of sports. I really enjoyed the challenge of learning the biomechanics of new sports and how injuries can affect results and started to progress my learning. I completed a post-graduate certificate in acupuncture and have since completed a post-graduate certificate in sports medicine. From there I moved to Ireland and travelled extensively through Europe, until I started working with Team Abu Dhabi in the Volvo Ocean Race for 2 years. This was a great opportunity to work with elite athletes and travel at the same time. I returned home in 2012 to join Leanna as a co-owner of Back In Action Physiotherapy and love implementing a type of physiotherapy that really gets to the cause of injuries and can ultimately make our patients better and faster plus better faster. I have a special interest in prehabilitation and preventing injuries via biomechanical screening. In my spare time I enjoy keeping active either on a sports field, mountain bike, running or with my growing family and friends. Check out by blog of a day in the life of a sports physio.


Lindsay Duhig – BSc Hons Physiotherapy, MCSP


Hi, I’m Lindsay, I’m from Northern Ireland but moved to Tauranga in 2015 with my Kiwi partner. Since graduating from the University of Ulster I have worked in both public and private healthcare settings and have experience in Paediatrics, Women’s Health, MSK and spinal injury, Pre and Post-Operative Rehabilitation. Back in NI I have worked with professional Rugby Union and Netball athletes: the Northern Ireland U21 Netball team to the World Youth Championships in 2013 and with Ulster Rugby developing skills in prehabilitation and strength & conditioning techniques. My special interest is with Sports Injury and Rehabilitation, especially Rugby and I thoroughly enjoy my time with both Greerton Marist and Rangataua Sports Clubs here in Tauranga. I am APPI Pilates trained and have a keen interest in complete body strength and core control and also use the Sarah Key Method along with myofascial release techniques to enhance your recovery to the best of my ability. Within my treatment sessions, I enjoy taking a full body approach and treating not only the painful area but ensuring a full recovery through injury prevention and prehabilitation techniques. Outside of work I have a passion for travel and love exploring the beautiful country I now live in but spend most of my free time ‘hanging out’ at antigravity yoga and trying to be a baking Queen! I look forward to meeting you!


Morven Smith – BSc Physiotherapy, MCSP


Hi my name is Morven and I moved to NZ with my kiwi husband and our two boys in 2018. Since qualifying in Glasgow in 1991 I have worked extensively in the Musculoskeletal field, primarily in the UK’s NHS and also privately in the USA for three years in a sports medicine team. I have a special interest in spinal pain and became a Credentialed McKenzie Therapist in 2002 whilst working as a clinical specialist in the spinal service in Glasgow. I have also trained in Pilates and Acupuncture which are both a great adjunct to physiotherapy. Over the last 10 years I was a clinical specialist in London and my role was to diagnose and manage patients with complex musculoskeletal conditions, including referring patients for MRI, CT scans and Nerve Conduction Studies and delivering cortisone steroid injections. In this role I worked closely with Orthopaedic and Rheumatology teams and in chronic pain management to help each patient achieve the best outcome. I pride myself in my holistic approach and I am passionate in helping patients to achieve their goals and improve their well-being. My interests include walking, swimming and yoga and I love spending time outdoors with my family exploring the beautiful Bay of Plenty.


Rachael Blackburn – BPhty Physiotherapy


Hi, I’m Rachael. I grew up here in the lovely Tauranga, then moved to Dunedin for university where I graduated with a Bachelor of Physiotherapy in 2018. I enjoy applying a whole-body approach to rehabilitation, as well as incorporating future injury prevention in my later treatment sessions. I find it rewarding to work in collaboration with individuals, helping them reach their goals of rehabilitation and getting them back to where they want to be. Outside of physio, I like to be active in the outdoors and play netball!

BIA Physio

Claire Vanderpoel – BPhty Physiotherapy


After living and working in the UK for the past 3 years I have now returned to beautiful Tauranga and am easing back into the NZ lifestyle. The overseas opportunity gave me wide experience from acute injuries to long-term and multiple conditions.

I love using my knowledge and skills to not only treat a person and their injury but educate them to facilitate self-management and promote long-term health. I will ensure that advice and exercises are individualised and achievable in your daily schedule, and we can discuss other lifestyle factors that impact your symptoms and/or overall well-being.

I simply love to be outside and, of course, exercising – practice what you preach! So this summer I’m hoping to pick up surfing and get back into triathlons.

BIA Physio


Jack Coxon – BSc (Hons) Physiotherapy


Hi, I’m Jack, I am a Physiotherapist from the UK who moved over to Tauranga February 2020.

I have worked for the public sector and in sports clubs. I have previously worked as the First team Physiotherapist for Blackburn Rover LFC, Physiotherapist & sports science co-ordinator for Blackburn Rovers RTC, a Specialist Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist in the NHS and the Physiotherapist for Water-polo England.

My interests include anything sports related, prehab, rehab and optimising performance. I have worked closely with coaches, strength and conditioners, personal trainers, psychologists, nutritionists, doctors and consultants to provide the highest level of evidence-based rehabilitation for my patients.

I also love to be outdoors, playing any sport with a current involvement in Football and Gymnastics.”


Kelly Waite

Office Manager

Hi my name is Kelly and I am the Receptionist and Administrator for Back in Action Physiotherapy. An experienced Office Manager with qualifications in medical administration, I am always on hand to help you find an appointment or answer any questions you may have.
In my down time I am an avid reader, enjoy the cinema, amateur photography and I love to travel. I lived in Ireland for six years and thoroughly enjoyed it. I explored a little bit of Europe while I was there but not nearly enough. When I was 16 I had a small accident that resulted in a shoulder stabilisation surgery at 17 and shoulder reconstruction surgery at 19. Following both procedures was lots of physiotherapy to regain my range of motion and strength, so I have had a bit of physiotherapy myself in my time! Read more about shoulder injuries here. I look forward to meeting you and aiding your recovery in any way I can to help you get Better – Faster.


Jan Swale


Hi my name is Jan. I am the relief receptionist for the Back in Action team when Kelly is away from the front counter.  I have 20 years’ experience working in physiotherapy clinics in Tauranga, previously as a receptionist and practice manager.

I live locally and enjoy meeting and helping clients. I retired, but found I missed the patient contact and working with a team of friendly professionals.  My main interests outside of the clinic are spending time with my six lovely grandchildren, my children and my husband.

I look forward to spending more time working with this great team, meeting you all and helping in any way I can to aid your recovery.