There’s a fresh face in the Gym on Thursdays – Sundays, so we wanted to introduce you to Felicity, our new Gym Supervisor.
Felicity is originally from Hawke’s Bay but had an eventful route to Auckland. She first played rugby aged 19, and made the Hawke’s Bay Tui Farah Palmer Cup side that same year. She continued to play while completing an exercise science degree on scholarship at EIT. During the 2019 national sevens competition, Felicity was scouted by Japanese side Tokyo Phoenix, and went overseas in January this year. An unfortunate ACL and meniscus injury saw her return to New Zealand a week before the country went into lockdown in March. Following surgery and initial rehabilitation, she’s joined the AUT Millennium team to share her passion for health and fitness.
“It was unreal playing in Japan,” Felicity tells. “We were fully immersed in the culture. There were six of us Kiwis there, and the rest of the girls were Japanese. We were having Japanese lessons twice a week. All the calls on the field were in Japanese, so we needed to understand what was going on!” While difficult at first, she embraced the professional sports life and living abroad. “Playing sport as your job was awesome, I absolutely loved it. It was such a cool experience to do that in a different culture, it really opens your eyes a lot.”
While the injury was a definite downside, there was a circumstantial silver lining. “It sucked to have to come home from Japan, but I was home by the time lockdown happened. Some of my mates got stuck over there and weren’t able to get home,” she recalls. “I was lucky that I could do my surgery and rehab here at home during lockdown, and was able to start looking for a job once I was a bit more mobile.
Since joining the team at AUT Millennium, Felicity’s loved getting to know the members. “I love the vibe here, it’s such a whanau environment,” she says. “I love interacting with people, and the connection you can have with them. Going through the Everyday Champions programme, setting their vision and goals, I really like doing that.” Given her personal passion for her own training, she really enjoys taking people through sessions as she knows the benefits. “I like that there’s a bit of everything in my role, it keeps me challenged and on my toes!”
She’s hoping to get back on the rugby field early in 2021, and return to the Farah Palmer Cup level next season. When she’s not playing rugby, working or working out in the Gym, Felicity loves writing music as a keen guitar and piano player. Her rural upbringing shines through in her interest in hunting, fishing and diving, which she indulges when she gets back to Hawke’s Bay – “I try to go once a month, but it’s a little difficult when you’re working weekends,” she laughs.
Her advice for our Everyday Champions? “Consistency is key, across the board. It’s not just coming to the gym and working out which gives you quality of life,” she shares. “Training, nutrition, mental wellbeing, sleeping, life at home. You need to make sure everything is balanced.” Another thing she wants to remind members is to keep their eyes on their own goals. “Everyone is running their own race, so long as you’re doing your absolute best for you, that’s all that matters.”