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How are you getting active on Mother’s Day?

We caught up with three local mums to find out what they are doing to celebrate Mother’s Day. It may include a cup of tea and a piece of cake, but only after they have untied their runners or slipped off their safety helmet and elbow pads.

Sonja Schonfeldt-Roy

Sonja-and-kids

After having her second son Ziggy nearly two years ago, Sonja is focused on building up her fitness, running four days a week, including Saturday Townsville Roadrunners’ sessions, and some off-road adventures. Sonja, with Ziggy in the pram, will be lining up on Sunday to pound the pavement in the iconic Townsville Podiatry Centre Mother’s Day Run from Rossiter Park.

“My mum passed away just before Mother’s Day 12 years ago. Ever since then, I have done the Mother’s Day run as a way of remembering her and celebrating Mother’s Day”

What do you love about running? Being outdoors and exploring new places. It’s a low cost way to keep fit that just about anyone can have a go at. I enjoy the social aspect of weekly Saturday club runs: Catching up with the regulars as well as meeting new runners, while challenging myself.

How did you get into it? About 12 years ago my husband’s uncle convinced me to come along to a 10km time trial with Townsville Road Runners (TRR). I was so worried I would be the last person to finish, that I made my husband ride his bike alongside me. I didn’t come last and I had a great time. Everyone was so friendly and encouraging that I couldn’t wait for the following week’s run.

“Forget about pre-kid race rituals/warm ups – these days mine is usually trying to get some breakfast into the kids and barely making the start line in time”

What events have you done since? Before having my first son, I ran a few marathons at the Townsville Running Festival, as well as half marathons and a few trail events; my favourite being the Run the Whitsunday Great Walk. Since having kids I’ve done some 10km events and a few half marathons. Recently I participated in the Burdekin Sugar Rush Half Marathon in Ayr and Outer Limits’ 21km Elliot’s Revenge trail run. Over the years I’ve tried to participate in most of the fun runs organised by TRRs, including the Mother’s Day Run.

What are you most looking forward to about Sunday’s run? My mum passed away just before Mother’s Day 12 years ago. Ever since then, I have done the Mother’s Day run as a way of remembering her and celebrating Mother’s Day. Since having kids, I have always pushed one of them in the pram. Last year my eldest (Django, 5) decided he was too big for the pram (I think the playground looked too inviting!) so it was the first time I pushed Ziggy. There’s always a huge crowd and a great atmosphere for the whole family and runners of all abilities.

Sonja-australia-dayIs running something that’s practical to do with the kids? Certainly, yes! It’s only recently that I have been enjoying a few runs on my own again. Most of my training and club runs for the past five years has been pushing a pram. I think it’s great for kids to see their parents enjoying exercise.

Any tips for mums exercising with kids? Bring entertainment and/or food for lengthy runs in the pram. Always make it a fun experience – I usually try to always finish a run at a park/playground/pool so they associate the run with fun at the end. Forget about pre-kid race rituals/warm ups – these days mine is usually trying to get some breakfast into the kids and barely making the start line in time. Having everything organised the night before helps. Also, make exercise a priority – schedule it into your weekly routine.

Your Mother’s Day message? See all you other mums at the Mother’s Day Fun Run… compared to childbirth, anything’s a walk in the park (laughs).


Kim Olsen

Kim tried Roller Derby four years ago when she was looking for a hobby and way to keep fit, now the mum-of-two can’t get enough of the sociable sport. She’ll be at Sk8way on Saturday for the annual Mother’s Day Mayhem Bout – an exciting contest that starts with the juniors and concludes with mums battling the non-mums – and her five and six year old will be there to cheer her on.

“Putting some wheels on your feet can be exhilarating and it’s a way to escape and do something for yourself”

What do you love about Roller Derby? It’s a fast-paced competitive team sport that incorporates skating, which I have loved since I was a child. Plus there’s the ability to travel and play teams in other states and surrounds.

Kim-Olsen-Derby-profile-picWhy is the Mother’s Day Mayhem Clash particularly special? We have two teams ‘The Rolling Pin Ups’ (mothers) and ‘Dodgers’ (non mothers), so the mums compete against the non-mums. It’s great as the mothers are generally a little bit older and it’s fun to try and take a win from the younger ones. It’s also fantastic as our kids come down to watch and cheer us on from the sidelines.

How long have you been involved with Towns Villains Roller Derby and what are some of the most memorable moments? I have been with the league since October 2011 – I got involved for a hobby, for a bit of fitness and to have some time out from the kids; but since then I have got hooked and played for the Townsville A Team last year. Our A Team played against VRDL who are ranked number one in Australia and number four in the world – this was pretty memorable moment for our little ol’ Townsville league!

“We do ‘hits’ on the track, but we are taught to fall and we wear a lot of safety gear. It’s basically football on wheels but with extra padding”

Is it a good sport for mums? It’s a great sport for frustration (laughs). You can be having a bad day, with limited sleep, and you sweat it out at a hard training session and all seems OK. Plus we all love to skate – putting some wheels on your feet can be exhilarating and it’s a way to escape and do something for yourself.

Any Roller Derby misconceptions to bust? People think Roller Derby is this big tough and violent sport, but that’s so far from the truth. We do ‘hits’ on the track, but we are taught to fall and we wear a lot of safety gear. It’s basically football on wheels but with extra padding.

Photography credit Stacey Doyle

Photography credit Stacey Doyle

Is the Mother’s Day event itself family-friendly? All Roller Derby bouts are family friendly: We have lucky door prizes, food and drinks and colouring in tables for the kids. This one is extra special as the Junior Roller Derby will go up against Cairns: These are little kids from six years of age. The junior league was started by one of our mothers who had a daughter who desperately wanted to play after watching mum from the sidelines for years. For those watching, family passes are available and kids under five are free, which makes it an affordable night out.

Your Mother’s Day message? Happy Mother’s Day to all mums out there – remember to take time for yourself. Come and check out our ‘fresh meat’ sessions (for newbies) any Sunday from 6.30pm at Sk8way, Condon.


Vanessa Clements

As the owner of a hairdressing salon on Magnetic Island, Vanessa has been actively recruiting her clients for the inaugural Mother’s Day Classic. Designed to encourage families to walk or run for breast cancer research, there’s a 2km, 5km and 10km option all leaving from Alma Bay. Vanessa is going to step it up to her first 10km run, while her kids and her own Mum walk the 2km.

Vee Clements5

“It will just be such a nice way to spend Mother’s Day morning with lots of other families all coming together, being active and raising some money”

Why did you sign up? It’s such a rare opportunity for us to get such an event like this on the island, which is so exciting, and because I believe it is such an important cause.

Vee-Clements4How have you managed to get the whole family involved? My mum and sisters are doing the 2km event with my children (Bailey, 8, and Harriet, 3), but I’m tackling the 10km. Hopefully I can run the whole thing, but I’ll see how I go – I wouldn’t say I’m a serious runner but I have been attending Maggie Island Bootcamp for the past year so my fitness has improved. I have now entered a few events but 10km is still quite the challenge for me!

Have you roped a lot of people in to join you? Yes, LOADS! I own a hairdressing salon on the island so I have been spreading the news of the event to all my clients and have donated some prizes from my salon.

“Whether it’s going on the walks or playing at the beach, we are always outdoors and cycling, and my son is really into sports”

What are you most looking forward to? The community side of it: Magnetic Island as a community is so good at all pulling in together to make things happen. It will just be such a nice way to spend Mother’s Day morning with lots of other families all coming together, being active and raising some money.

Do you try to encourage your kids to get active? I definitely keep my children active! Living on this island it’s so easy anyway – it’s such an active outdoor lifestyle and you seem to be active here without even realising it. Whether it’s going on the walks or playing at the beach, we are always outdoors and cycling, and my son is really into sports.


Get involved

Here are some active options you can get involved with this Mother’s Day. Remember – you can go at your own pace and it’s just about giving it a go (and dragging mum, kids or friends along too). Do you know of a Mother’s Day event that’s not listed? Email [email protected]

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Carly Lubicz

Carly Lubicz

Carly Lubicz is combining two of her great loves — writing and getting active. Previously working as a journalist, sub-editor, and editor in newspapers and magazines; she is editor and co-founder of TheGo Townsville. She stays active with the staples of road cycling and yoga, but has recently discovered triathlon. And become addicted (apart from the swimming part). She also has a Cert III in Fitness and is passionate about improving mental health through physical activity.

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