Hiraina Testimonial Feature Image


I first started playing sports from the age of 5. I played netball for a local club for 6 years until I injured my left hip at the age of 10. This led to me having surgery and a rod inserted into my hip which is called a Slipped Upper Femoral Epiphysis (SUFE). Which stopped me from playing sports for 2 years.

When I started college, I was approached by the sports coordinator to play for the College Junior A Netball Team. I was quite nervous to play netball again as I was off for almost two years, but I gave it a go and received the player of the year award. This gave me the motivation to stay active and try new things. All the following years I was involved in different physical activities such as Netball, Basketball, Volleyball, Waka Ama and Softball.

My most loved sport is Softball, as it was a whole new sport and very different trainings for me compared to my other sports. Basketball and Netball kept me active throughout the year as well as helping me release stress in a challenging way. I have always had a passion for Volleyball but was never able to excel in the sport and I enjoyed participating in Waka Ama because it was the only sport I had done that had intense and the most trainings overall.

It was hard to multi-task between my education and sports because my schedule was always trainings and games. But being able to participate in these physical activities gave me the opportunity to travel, to make new friends in different places all around the country and to keep me physically active.

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. Sports and keeping physical active are my happy place because every time I was given or had the chance to play my sports, I would want it to last forever. The adrenaline rushing through me, the opportunity to play others and that look you see from your team mates when you know you have won is the best feeling I could ever have to share with others.

I was never one to have a famous idol because I always looked up to my older sister. She was good at everything I wanted to be good at. She always dedicated her time into sports and was always determined to win no matter how many times she may have fallen down she never gave up. She had multiple injuries such as sprained ankles, torn ligament and a fractured wrist but she will still be motivated to play the next day. My sister is very competitive and never likes losing. By being hard-headed it kept her in her lane and to victory. Her and I different people but yet share the same heart for our sports and that is something that I look up to deep down inside me.

To this day I am currently playing Softball Women’s Prems and just finishing the last year for my College team and I still have the rod in my hip from when I was young. You can always overcome your fears and your injuries if you can find a way to motivate yourself into keeping fit. I had my family and friends who stood by my side and always understood that when it came to my sports I am always serious and a little competitive about them, without their support and encouragement I would be lazy and have no experience in physical activities like I am in now.

  • 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 info@thisisme.org.nz