Fitkitchen is very pleased to announce the appointment of our new ambassador Bucky Popoalii. Below Bucky tells his story,
“I am Buxton Popoalii. I am an ex Highlander, Otago and NZ sevens rugby player.
I was diagnosed with Rheumatic fever as a 10 year old. This was treated and once I was up and running again and began attending Wellington College. I made the first 15 in my 6th form year however in this year I also started to feel extremely lethargic, it was picked up that the Rheumatic fever I had had caused Rheumatic heart disease and I would require open-heart surgery. Three months after my surgery I was playing again. I made the Wellington team in 2008 and I also got involved in Sevens Rugby. I made the NZ sevens team in which I played all around the world and was apart of the team that won the World Series. In 2011 I started playing for Otago and then made the wider training squad and debuted for the Highlanders in 2012. 2013 I become part of the Highlander’s squad.
In January 2014 I was prepared for my third season of Super rugby with the Highlanders. Hours before our first preseason game in Queenstown I was pulled aside by Coach Jamie Joseph and Team Doctor and was told news that changed my life forever…the news was I would need another open-heart surgery due to an unstable and life-threatening heart condition that had been picked up on a routine check. Leading up to the surgery there was still a chance I could play rugby again. That night I was faced with another devastating blow. The surgeon wouldn’t be fighting to enable me to keep playing rugby; he was fighting to save my life. Tests that day showed the extent of my condition was worse than initially expected and I was given a 50/50 chance of surviving.
I survived the operation with the support of god, my partner, my mum and my family and friends. My rugby career was over in a flash however I will be forever grateful to the cardiac surgeon who saved my life.
I have since completed a diploma in applied sport and exercise leadership graduating in 2015. For a year now I have been working at Les Mills as a Personal Trainer and Group Fitness instructor and I am passionate about motivating, supporting and encouraging my clients to reach their fitness and health goals.
As we all know leading a healthy lifestyle involves more than just exercise. Nutrition choices play a huge role in successfully fulfilling fitness and weight loss goals. Fitkitchen takes out the hassle of cooking whilst still providing fresh, healthy and clean food.
P.S Come and meet Bucky and the Fitkitchen team this weekend at Centre City New World Dunedin from 11am onwards