Lightning players share wellbeing tips on podcast
  • Thursday 08 August 2019

Sunshine Coast Lightning players will share tips on how to maintain mental health while striving for goals in Sunshine Coast Council’s latest Speak Up Engage podcast which is being released tonight (August 8).

Elite netballers Laura Scherian and Annika Lee-Jones were interviewed about their journey to the top by Speak Up Engage presenters Toby Bogert, Laura-Leith Pettigrew and Bridget Kelly.

The players explained how exercise can help maintain a positive mindset.

“The players combine intense netball-focused training with nature-based exercise. Several of the players recently took part in one of Sunshine Coast Council’s Healthy Sunshine Coast yoga classes at Cotton Tree Park and, in the podcast, Laura and Annika share the value of getting outdoors and connecting with nature while exercising,’’ Bridget said.

Bridget, 19, said listeners would be surprised to learn that despite being elite netballers, the players were just like them.

“They have come from similar upbringings and have just worked really hard for their accomplishments.

“They really instil the message that anything is possible if you persevere and work hard.’’

Co-presenter Laura said the players had a very holistic approach to their exercise.

 “They include other aspects of exercise so netball is not their only focus. This ensures their mental wellbeing if they have setbacks in netball,” Laura said.

“I would encourage everyone to listen in to our podcast as it really gives you a great insight into how to maintain your mental and physical health while striving for your dreams.

 It also focuses on how to navigate obstacles that may come up,’’ Laura said.

Speak Up Engage is a weekly podcast delivered on leading Australian health podcast network, The Wellness Couch. The podcast is aimed at youth aged 12-25 and covers topics ranging from developing purpose and passion to teenage relationships and coping with depression.

The presenters are mentored by Carren Smith who is a motivational speaker, author and trainer, as well as council’s Youth Community Development officer.

Laura said she got involved because she loves spreading the message of the benefits of a healthy and active lifestyle.

“Maintaining your health and fitness has so many benefits to your physical health but also your mental health. And while our busy lifestyle makes it hard to include health and fitness into our schedule, I believe the busier you get the more important it is to have that mental outlet that health and fitness provides,” Laura said.

Community portfolio councillor Jenny McKay said Speak Up and Engage was a wonderful initiative for young Sunshine Coast residents.

“This initiative really embodies council’s Healthy, Smart, Creative vision. How wonderful that we have three talented local young people producing podcasts about what it means to be healthy, vital, fit and high on life to benefit other young people on the Coast,” Cr McKay said.
Young people are encouraged to join the conversation by heading to the Speak Up Engage Facebook page at and to tune into the podcast by visiting the Wellness Couch podcast network website at:

For information about the low-cost fitness classes on offer through the Healthy Sunshine Coast program visit council’s website at and click on Living and Community, Community Support and then Healthy Sunshine Coast.