When it comes developing and encouraging young athletes, Christina Jacklin is impressively well equipped to motivate and educate in everything from mental fortitude to sport specific skills.

The HSPNZ athlete life advisor has a swag of achievements and accolades to her name; from MSc Sports Science and NLP Master Practitioner to qualified university lecturer and physical education teacher.

Her background includes more than a decade working as a high school physical education teacher in the United Kingdom, as well as a decade as a senior lecturer in sports science and coaching in London.

Christina’s love of sport and education is the perfect combination for her work as an athlete life advisor with HPSNZ, and she leads the Pathway to Podium athlete life team also, working with up-and-coming talent in the greater Waikato region.

Christina Jacklin

Her own sporting background is equally as impressive as her academic achievements. Christina spent 20 years as a national league hockey player (and then coach at Wimbledon Hockey Club, UK) in the English Hockey League. She represented England and a career highlight was scoring her first National League goal (an opportunity rarely afforded to a defender).

After emigrating to New Zealand in 2012, Christina rapidly immersed herself in the sporting world here and admits her role offers her the opportunity to embrace all the things she loves about educating and motivating.

“Listening, guiding and educating young people in living their lives to the full is hugely rewarding,” she says.

“The young athletes I work with are committed, driven and preparing to embrace a challenging, unpredictable wider world.”

INSPO Fitness Journal finds out more…

Greatest Challenge?
Knowing that failure is the start to learning, so letting individuals experience failure.

Most rewarding aspect?
Seeing young people grow into independent adults that are a credit to themselves.

Five things you’d love aspiring athletes to embrace?
Self and family. Learn from yesterday, be present in today and plan for tomorrow. You make your own choices, so be deliberate about them. Don’t let chance control your destiny.

What inspired you down this career path?
Love for teaching young people and helping others learn, and a love for sport.

Most common problems you deal with?
Young people who have not been allowed to develop a skillset or sense of independence.