Congratulations Mary Fisher on your nomination for Wellington Sports Woman of the Year for the five years running!
What an amazing achievement for this talented young swimmer. We are delighted to be supporting Mary in this category and caught up with her to find out more about her sporting highlights, role models, aspirations and challenges.
What has been your biggest sporting highlight in the last year?
Being told I’d broken the won the 100m backstroke in world record time. After
being so close for years, to have everything align in the one minute that comes
around every four years and the following medal ceremony with Kiwi support from
all around was epic.
As a successful female athlete, you must be aware that you are a role model for
young aspiring athletes. Who has been your biggest role model in your life and
My family have been supportive in everything I’ve wanted to try. I can’t thank
them enough for the thousands of hours they’ve contributed to my swimming. I
don’t think there’s one person who is my biggest role model. Tim Prendergast,
Paula Tesoriero and Luke Clark have had big, positive influences on me.
Teammates, support staff and friends I admire outside of the swimming world
have kept me balanced and uplifted when things got tough.
What are your aspirations for the year to come?
‘To raise kittens!’ This answer was provided by my flatmates as we’ve been
fostering for SPCA. I agree. Alongside kittens I’m enjoying swimming and
tinkering with hobbies in Wellington after training in Auckland.
For Kiwi kids to be taught good water safety and swimming skills would be
great. As would better regulations for NZ’s waterways…so we can all swim in
and drink from and protect native wildlife in those special spaces.
What does it take to be at the top of your field? For you what is the biggest
sacrifice and what is the biggest reward?
Giving 100% of your physical and mental energy at all training sessions.
Knowing your own body, mind, recovery and how your teammates and support staff
tick is useful too. All decisions are made with the first factor being ‘how
will this influence my swimming’.
The feeling of ‘all my peers are on an exciting, carefree, getting real-world-
things-done trajectory and I’m stuck somewhere left field on swim/sleep/eat
repeat’ can be hard to shake. Even when you know it’s not true! Also missing
special events and time with family and friends is difficult. More importantly
it’s a privilege. To have had the opportunity and support to be able to train
and race for Aotearoa all over the globe is amazing for a little Upper Hutt
Rewards are wide-ranging. Swimming has taught me perseverance, self-
disciplined and how to work with and trust others. Sharing joy,
disappointment, exhaustion and medals with teammates and competitors is
special. The biggest reward is when others take away a more positive
perception of disability or what they themselves can achieve.
Lastly, a fun one; if you were an animal what animal would you be and why?
A manatee! I was given the book Dancing with Manatees as a six-year-old and
have been a little obsessed with these aquatic mammals since. They’re a little
solitary but friendly and curious, have no natural predators, spend lots of
time grazing in warm water and can swim fast in short spurts…sounds perfect.
Good luck for award night Mary from the team at Wellington Sports Med!