Great response for JK from East Coasters (Video)

Luke Parker
Great response for JK from East Coasters (Video)

Gisborne has welcomed JK with open arms as the well-known sportsman and mental health advocate visited the East Coast town to share his personal story around depression, hope and mental wellness.

The Westpac Ambassador spoke to more than 300 students at Campion College which included secondary students from Gisborne Boys’ High, Girls’ High and Lytton High School.

SEE ALSO: Tuning in to your teenagers


He had a great response from the students and says he’s always amazed at how open young people are these days.

“I had some fantastic questions from them and afterwards I always take a bit of time out so if any of the students want to come up and have a personal yarn with me about what they should do or other issues, I’m available to do this.

“It’s really inspirational seeing some of these kids, what they talk about, and having the courage to stand up. I feel very special that I can come into the communities and do this type of work.”

In the afternoon, JK spoke to workers on a rural farm before checking out some of the new innovations they’re using in grow fruit in their orchards.


He then spoke to the extended community in a free evening session which saw locals pack into the Campion College gymnasium.

JK says the idea of this tour is to stand up, be real, and have an honest, open conversation about depression and mental health.

“What I try and do when I present is really humanise it and try and get people having a good time around a really serious topic.

“For me it’s just normalising it so that if people do have issues, they don’t feel any hesitation to reach out and get help.”


Before leaving town, there was an early morning visit to the family run local business, Gisborne Fisheries, to learn more about fishing and catching lobsters on the East Coast, photos with staff, and a glimpse of the hundreds of crayfish waiting to be exported.

JK will next head to Nelson/Tasman before heading to Oamaru, Whangarei and Greymouth later this year.

Those keen to head along to the free sessions are encouraged to register as soon as possible as there are limited seats available.

SEE ALSO: Tuning in to your teenagers

JK tour dates and locations

  •     Gisborne, 8 June, 5:30pm - 7:00pm – Registrations now closed
  •     Moutere Hills - Tasman, 28 June, 5:30pm - 7:00pm – Registrations now closed
  •     Oamaru, 10 August, 5:30pm - 7:00pm – Registrations now closed
  •     Whangarei, 7 September – Registrations now closed
  •     Greymouth, 15 November - Registrations now open
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