Jess Testimonial Feature Image


I love being out and about, I will give anything ago! When I was a kid I went on a lot of hiking, fishing, camping and bush adventures with my family. I think this is where my love of adventure and the outdoors has come from. These days I take my kids on walks/outings and while they don’t always appreciate it, I am hopeful that it will help them to develop a sense of adventure when they are young adults as well!

It’s important to me that my kids understand balance in this new era of technology they are growing up in. Finding this balance is tricky, but it is worth it when I see them feeling good because they walked Mt Tauhara or conquered a new track on their mountain bike. I also love watching the kids be challenged as this makes me proud. My kids are always 100% better behaved after doing something active. 

I also spent a lot of my time on skates (inline and quad) when I was a kid and now, I am one of the founding members of Taupo’s Roller Derby team, the Taupo Huka Dolls. Roller Derby is a HIIT (high intensity interval training) sport, and it challenges me both physically and mentally, which I love. I have made so many amazing friends playing Roller Derby. My Derby sisters have taught me so much about grit, hard work and determination. Roller Derby is the most inclusive sport I have ever been involved in. There is no ideal body shape, height, weight or age - Derby loves you for you and had me at hello!

Roller Derby makes it easy to be active at least twice a week as it ticks all the boxes (high intensity and late evening trainings etc.). I missed it so much while I was pregnant with my third child, that I played in my first “post-baby” bout quite quickly after I was given the all clear by my doctor/midwife. My teammate and I sat feeding our little girls (six and eight months old) during half time. It was super empowering! “Girls Can!”

I find that being active keeps my mental energy in check. I have previously suffered with anxiety and I finally came to the realisation that when I was feeling a little down or like things were getting hectic it was because I had stopped getting out there and being as active. I have learnt that having some me time is important.

Time is a big barrier for me when it comes to keeping physically active. Having three kids and a business on the Gold Coast that my husband and I run from here in NZ can be exhausting. I overcome this barrier by being organized, which is sometimes easier said than done! I also involve the kids as much as I can. Even walking into town instead of driving is a thing for us during the school holidays as we roam around getting our jobs done. We hit up the parks, and op shops and in a day, we can squeeze in 5-7km depending on the plan.

Another barrier is that I sometimes find myself thinking that it’s pointless going out unless I’m going to “really sweat.” This is silly though, as any activity does benefit us! Joining a gym also doesn’t work for me so I have been trying out a few home workout apps. It not only saves me time driving to and from the gym, but it means my kids can sometimes join in too.         

My advice to other women and girls is to try as many different activities as you can. You will eventually find something you love and then being active isn’t a chore!  If you are a young girl and you have any questions or hesitations about getting involved or being active, find a local sports team or group in your community and reach out, be bold and take your friends! My other advice would be looking at “being active” as a part of your lifestyle. Also know that it doesn’t have to be something you dread!

As women we are so great at lifting each other up, encouraging and supporting one another. For me becoming Local Champion who is a positive role model is a great step towards really making this the norm in our community!  If you are in the Taupo region, we have a Facebook group called “This is ME – Ready Set Move.” Join us! I am also passionate about getting our young women moving. Let’s change the stats!

  • Carly


    "Going to the gym and being physically active makes me feel alive and motivated"

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  • Aynslee


    "The rush you get from being active, and achieving your physical goals, is unmeasurable"

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  • Catarina


    "I love the feeling when you're all sweaty, tired and out of breath because you know you've tried your best and pushed yourself as far as you could"

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  • Courtney


    "I like getting fit, competing and winning medals. I like to have big strong muscles"

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  • Sarah


    "So often as a mum you are doing things for other people, so being physically active makes me feel good in that I’m doing something positive for myself"

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  • Jo


    "I enjoy the social aspect of being physically active, when it’s not too serious and it’s just about learning new skills or getting out of the house and having fun"

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  • Trinity


    “I don't like sitting around and being bored. I love participating in team sport and putting goals in place to achieve.”

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  • Sirtori


    “Never give up, keep pushing even when times are hard, and love yourself. Find your passion and grow because your only competition is yourself”

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  • Colleen


    “Being active is important to me. I want to live a healthy life and movement is a big part of that”

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  • Annmaree


    "For me, sport and physical activity has offered me opportunities to make friends for life and memories I will never forget"

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  • Jess


    "I’m now convinced that I am not in competition with anyone and it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks anyway. I know I’m never going to win races but as long as I am trying my best to be a better me than I was yesterday then I am winning at life"

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  • Dawn


    "Not being the one sitting on the sidelines watching and being able to role model how to stay healthy and fit to my children so that they grow up believing being active is a part of everyday life and sharing all these wonderful adventures with them, it makes my heart sing"

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  • Linda


    “Quite often when you can’t be bothered or you’re feeling sluggish and tired you can surprise yourself on how well you’ll do. Just get out the door, breathe in some fresh air and take some time for YOU, because you deserve to be HAPPY and HEALTHY!”

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  • Tracey


    “Start out with small steps and milestones like walking around the block without stopping, going to that first group fitness class or jumping in the water for the first time in 10 years or so”

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  • Rae


    “I feel a lot happier when I'm active. A run or a swim will always clear my head”

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  • Pele


    “You have got to have a positive attitude and just get out there. Keep moving, stay focused, because life is way too short to waste your time not doing what you love to do. Just do it”

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  • Marie


    “By valuing ME more, I started to recognise myself and all of my qualities. Now I’m proud of who I am”

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  • Jess


    “I find I am generally a better human being and can give more when I keep active”

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  • Dianne


    “Being active amazes me at what my body can achieve, after all I have put it through. It amazes me how it can heal”

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  • Katrina


    "Find something that you enjoy doing and make the time to do it. You’re not being selfish; you’re looking after yourself. The best time to start is today"

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  • Anne


    “Running and working out are my antidote to the everyday stresses of life. When I’m not active I find it harder to switch off and view things in perspective. Sweating through activity means I don’t sweat the small things in life”

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  • Erin


    “Being active makes me feel like I’m using my body for good. It makes me feel powerful, positive, sweaty, glorious, achy in a good way, and hopeful for the future”

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  • Tracy


    “Running is an outlet for me and I feel as though I am in control when it’s just me and my running shoes”

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  • Anne


    “I was proud that I was determined enough to start from scratch and have had lots of fun playing in local competitions”

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  • Carla


    "I didn’t want to be the parent that only ever watched my kids run around and kick a ball – I wanted to be a part of what they were doing"

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  • Hiraina


    “Happy is a very well-known word but yet can be described in many ways. To me happy means doing the things you love while not being forced to do them. Sport and keeping physically active are my happy place”

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  • Dayna


    “Overall regular physical activity makes me more positive and happier”

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  • Amiria


    “I feel alive and ready for anything”

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  • Hannah


    “Active, healthy lifestyles aren’t defined by how often you run or go to the gym. Exercise can look like what you want it to be and what fits into your life”

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  • Dion


    "Just by putting your shoes on and getting out there, you’re being active and doing great things for your wellbeing."

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  • Hazel


    "There’s so much reward to be had by overcoming fear and achieving things you never thought you could – so go for it – and link up with other likeminded women along the way."

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  • Kirsty


    "Exercise makes me feel incredible! It makes me feel strong capable and grounded."

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  • Petra


    "...there is more to life than the aesthetic of your body."

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  • Wendy


    "I am so damn proud of what my body and brain can do for me. It brings me so much joy."

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  • Wati


    "Feeling confident in my own skin, being stronger and fitter than when I was younger."

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Our goal is to create a community of women and girls who share their stories and offer advice to support and inspire one another to get active. If you would like to share your physical activity journey, please contact us at