Originally from Zimbabwe, Shaye is the living proof of body love. She approaches life with intense passion, living in the moment of each experience. There are many reasons for this, one of which is her beautiful daughter, Hazel. One of the others is she has first hand experience in recovering from bulimia. At age 17 just weeks out of of the Beijing Olympics, Shaye quit the sport of Springboard Diving. Struggling in the grips of anxiety and battling severe bulimia meant the pressure got to much for her and she felt her only option was to walk away.
It was not an easy road to recovery for Shaye, but at 31 she's proud to have come out of the illness to love her body and to be able to share her story and help others through her bulimia recovery website .
More recently, Shaye was reflecting on her time as a diver. And it dawned on her, she had no images, no memorabilia, no proof that she could show her little girl the fantastic things she used to be able to do. She decided to go to the pools to see if she could remember anything to get on video to show Hazel when she was older. She expected it to be a one off visit - and expected the diving to be rough after 13 years away from the sport. To her amazement, even without training, her body was stronger than it has been when she was 17. It was in this moment that she realized just how much strength and energy bulimia had in fact stolen from her. At this one off visit back to the pools she was spotted by the New Zealand coach and they started talking about the 'insane' idea of returning to the sport. Within a few weeks she was back into training and loving it more than she ever. Her raw talent has been harnessed alongside a strong worth ethic, she was recently named in the New Zealand Diving Team to compete in Budapest at the FINA World Championships. Diving is traditionally a young persons game, and Shayes team mates are all in their early 20's - but she says she loves her new team and they feel like family already.
Going back to diving at the age of 31 has shown Shaye that love of yourself and the sport you do is the most important aspect of a successful career. You can be an uber talented young athlete - but if you turn up to training with a critical heart, your training will lack energy and passion.
Shaye feels like she's been given a 2nd chance as an athlete and she hopes to make her daughter proud of her. We feel very privileged to be part of Shaye's story going forward. We are already proud of her, being a Mum, a NZ Representative Diver, Bulimia Recovery Support Person and owner of a company which builds Tiny Homes.
Coming up Shaye is working on three new dives in preparation for two Grand Prix events with the hopes of being one of two divers selected for the Commonwealth Games in April next year.