Sport and family go together for Wendy Frew
Why is sport so important for Wendy Frew? Because it’s all about family, the former Southern Steel champion says.
Sport. It’s been such a major factor in my life for as long as I can remember. Whether directly or indirectly, it’s influenced pretty much everything I’ve done and will continue to do.
In fact, I can’t imagine my life without sport. It’s taught me discipline, focus and dedication. How to be humble in success and gracious in defeat. And given me experiences and friendships which will last a lifetime.
Most importantly, it comes down to family. Whether that’s genetic or selected. They might only be your team-mate for a year or two but they are your mate for life.
I’ve never opted for an individual sport and it’s no wonder I love a team environment since I pretty much grew up in one. I’m one of eight Telfer siblings, along with Michael, Chris, my twin Debbie, Matt, Alice and our youngest twins Joanna and Katie.
My family upbringing definitely gets the credit for installing the values I have as both an athlete and a person. It was pretty full-on growing up with all of us kids but it grew us into the people we are. If you have a big family, it’s easy going into a team environment because you’re used to looking out for people.
My family has always been incredibly supportive. Even when you play badly, there’s no more brutal feedback than what you get from your siblings. They don’t sugar-coat it which is great because it always pushed me.
Raising my own kids with Trent now, I respect the role sport has played in my life and I can’t wait to see what opportunities both Archie and Indie create for themselves.
Success for me is emulating my own parents. They’ve had the biggest impact on my life and are the rocks of our family. Bringing up eight kids is a remarkable achievement. I think I’m busy with two but it’s nothing compared to running around after eight little sports nuts.
They never said no to any sport we wanted to try. I remember fundraising endlessly as kids to get away to tournaments. It wasn’t a case of just getting a cheque written out – we had to work really hard for our sport and that influenced our work ethic and our appreciation of the opportunities sport provides. It now translates across all aspects of our lives.
You need a competitive spirit if you’re going to survive a Telfer family gathering and my earliest sporting memories are with my siblings. For me, having two older brothers toughened me up. They certainly didn’t take it easy on us just because we were girls – you learned pretty quick to take the hits in tackle rugby.
We’ve always been competitive with each other and even now it doesn’t matter if its Frisbee, cricket, touch or even mini golf.
Wherever we are, it doesn’t take long before there’s a ball being chucked around.
Sport has given me a wonderful chance to be a role model and a leader and that’s an honour I’ve always taken seriously. For me, all athletes have a responsibility to inspire the next generation to be fearless, strong and successful.
We can’t do that effectively if people don’t hear our voice. Visibility is crucial and I applaud the Women in Sport Murihiku network for the role it will play in championing our female athletes in the south.