If you see a flash of white and pink go by you around the Coffs Harbour Jetty, it is most likely the Deadly Sista Girlz – a group of women staying fit while having fun and encouraging others in the community to join in. FOCUS caught up with Pam Rogers before one of their training sessions, where she told us more about how the group members enjoy themselves and help Aboriginal women and their families.
What is your connection to the Coffs Coast?
I moved away from Coffs, but always came back for holidays and to visit family. I came back to live in the area in 1999.
Who are the Deadly Sista Girlz?
The Deadly Sista Girlz are a health, fitness and wellbeing group with the aim of improving the health of Aboriginal women and their families in the Coffs Harbour area. It was established in 2009 by two local women and has now been running for eight years.
Exercise can be fun. We all work together as a team and encourage each other to participate in physical activities, no matter what your level of fitness. Come and enjoy the activities and the social aspect of our group as well.
What is your role in the group, and what do you find most rewarding about being involved?
I am the current chairperson of Deadly Sista Girlz. The most rewarding thing about being part of the group is the comradery amongst the women. We have a lot of fun and laughs. It’s a great group to be involved with.
What does the colour pink represent for the Deadly Sista Girlz?
The colour pink is for breast cancer, and the colour white is for domestic violence.
We support “Jog for Jugs”, which is a 5 km beach jog from Mermaid Beach to Broadbeach (QLD) and back again, in support of breast cancer, and we hold workshops on domestic violence for our members and the community.
Can you tell us more about the domestic violence workshops?
We have just finished two weeks of a four week session dealing with all issues of domestic and family violence. This is our commitment to supporting our community and those women who are affected by these issues.
You are currently training for the 2017 City to Surf with a group of mothers and daughters. Can you tell us more about this?
We have participated in the City to Surf in previous years, so decided to give it another go. We have a few younger members of the group who have not yet experienced a large event like City to Surf, so hopefully they will enjoy it as much as we do.
What kind of social events do the Deadly Sista Girlz organise?
We love this part of the group activities. We have movie nights for our members, family fun nights for the children, and participate in local events as a group.
What have been some other highlights for the group?
In 2013 seven members of the group participated in the Outback Marathon at Uluru. It was something that was not even contemplated, until one of our members, who was participating in the group’s first ever interstate event at the time, came across some information on the Outback Marathon. Seven women were very keen on going, so after gathering more information, they decided to go for it.
Up until this point, most of the women had only ever run 10 km – 14 km, so to decide to run a half marathon of 21 km was a bit daunting, but after many more discussions and hard training, the excitement started to creep in … and before we knew it, we were off and running.
Six of the women completed the half marathon (21 km) and one completed the full marathon (42 km). This is something that we would definitely do again.
What are the Deadly Sista Girlz doing for NAIDOC week?
This year we are organising an event, “Morning Melodies”, for the elders in our community. It will be a fun filled morning with music and maybe some dancing. We also get to spend time catching up with what’s happening in the community and gaining knowledge and wisdom from the elders.
We are also having an information stall at the “Who Ya Gunna Call” Forum on Wed 5th July between 10am and 3pm at the Coffs Harbour Showground, where any women who want to know more about our group or want to join up can come and have a chat with some of our current members.
How can people get involved?
We have sign up days at the beginning of each year for anyone wishing to join. Current members encourage family and friends to join, and a lot of people find out by word of mouth.