Marle Women is created to celebrate our philosophy of designing pieces for women of all ages and stages of their lives. We hope each interview inspires you, the same way in which these women do to us.
Rose Keddell is best known for representing New Zealand as a field hockey player. Competing professionally since 2010, Rose has achieved incredible success and knows first-hand what it’s like to stand on a podium and have a medal placed around her neck.
Rose won her first Olympic medal at the Youth Olympics games at 16, made the Black Sticks at just 18, and has competed at major sporting events ever since - such as The Hockey World Cup and Commonwealth Games. Her eyes are firmly set on the Tokyo 2021 Olympics.
Raised in Mount Maunganui, the same hometown as Marle, Rose is a good friend of our brand and has worn the collections since its inception.
Here, we speak to Rose about her journey to the Olympics, how she maintains resilience and the ways she finds balance and a sense of calm, alongside an all-intensive training schedule.
Please share a little bit about yourself - including your background, where you were raised, noting some of the defining aspects that have contributed to the woman you are today.
I was raised on a farm just outside of Tauranga in the Bay of Plenty. I only realise now how fortunate I was to grow up with so much space. I am the second youngest of six children so our household was relatively wild as you can imagine. My family are my best friends and provide such a strong support network for me. We have always been very open with one another and that is reflected in the way I am with other people, an open book.
Tell us about your journey to becoming an elite sportsperson. When did your love of Hockey begin?
For as long as I remember I have been involved in some form of sport. I first started playing hockey at around five years old and haven't stopped since. I was selected for the national team at 18 and have been playing now for 9 years, which honestly has just gone so fast. As much as I love the sport itself, it is the team environment that has kept me motivated over the years. I adore my teammates and have huge admiration for every single one of them.
You made the Black Sticks team at 18 and have represented New Zealand in Hockey ever since. How have you maintained balance alongside what must be an intensive training schedule, for nearly 10 years?
I remember my selection for the National Team very clearly. I was at home with my Dad when I got the email and was able to celebrate with him. It was an overwhelming feeling and in hindsight, I had no concept of what the next few years would entail. Playing for New Zealand has been one of the hardest but most rewarding things I have done and will most likely ever do. It has been a huge privilege. In terms of balance, I don't know if I have really ever had it. It's challenging to find balance when you have to commit so much time and energy to something to succeed. I will say though, in the last few years I have explored more avenues outside of hockey both professionally and personally and it has been refreshing.
With a career in competitive sport that’s spanned as long as yours, you must have built some incredible resilience. Can you speak to how that’s maintained? Is resilience something that comes naturally, or is it something you actively work on?
A high-performance environment is definitely not always easy. We are very self-critical but only because we are constantly trying to improve. Like anything, you have good days and bad days and the bad days are where resilience comes into play. I strongly believe that if you don't have a certain level of resilience you will struggle to get anywhere, whether this is in sport or elsewhere. My upbringing definitely played a massive part in building a resilient foundation and it has since grown and developed throughout my career in the national team.
This July, you will represent New Zealand at the Tokyo Olympics. We can imagine the road to the Olympics is always one with its set of unique challenges. This year, however, must have been even more challenging with the unexpected nature of Covid-19. What are the learnings you’ve taken away from the experience so far?
The last 12 months have certainly been interesting. It is one thing to prepare for an Olympic Games but to do it twice in consecutive years is unusual. To be honest, when they were called off at the start of 2020, it was somewhat of a relief as we were trying to train in our backyard and I was also battling an injury which I ended up having surgery on in the months that followed the postponement. I think the major learning for me is to let go of what is out of my control and trust the process. Doing your best with what is presented to you is really all you can do. Everything else will take care of itself and focusing on what is out of your control is a misplacement of your energy.
Other than hockey, what are some of the additional forms of training you and the team are undertaking to prepare for Tokyo?
I integrate Pilates into my week at least once. I had some time off last year and managed to complete my Pilates training which was truly one of the best things I have ever done. To be able to slow things down and actually be really purposeful with movement has opened up a whole other level of control and function that I never knew existed. Our training weeks are intense which doesn't leave a lot of room for extra training outside of what is prescribed, however, I always try to mix things up in my rest weeks to keep it interesting and allow my body to rest and recover well.
"My style has evolved over the years, however, I have settled on a simple, classic style. I love a blazer, simple black pants, denim, a plain white singlet or T-shirt. Nothing groundbreaking that's for sure. I am most comfortable dressed casually"
What are the non-negotiable rituals that bring you a sense of calm during training season?
Our training season basically runs all year round so over the years I have learned to prioritize what is most important in maintaining a positive state of mind. Calm for me is found in time spent with loved ones or at home by the beach. It really is as simple as that for me.
You are a strong role model for young women throughout New Zealand. What would be a piece of advice you would give to your younger self?
It is hard to recognize myself in that way but I do not take it lightly. It is a huge responsibility when others, especially youth, look up to you and I am privileged to be in this position. If I was to give myself advice it would be to just remain confident on what I know I am good at, stay positive through the process, don't doubt your ability for a second and accept that what you do does not determine who you are. Your worth has nothing to do with your successes or your failures so give it all a go.
Although you live in Auckland while training, your home is the beautiful beach town of Mount Maunganui. How does life differ when you’re home?
Life is a lot slower out of the city. My partner, Ben, lives down in the Mount full time so I do try to get down as often as I can. I'll usually head to the Mount in our rest periods from hockey so I maximise the downtime by doing as little as possible. I seem to spend a lot more time in nature when I am home. I'll go for a walk or run up the Mount or out to see my family at the farm which is always so refreshing. It really is my favourite place and an absolute dream living so close to the beach.
How would you describe your personal style? And how has it changed over the years?
My style has evolved over the years, however, I have settled on a simple, classic style. I love a blazer, simple black pants, denim, a plain white singlet or T-shirt. Nothing groundbreaking that's for sure. I am most comfortable dressed casually.
As a friend of Marle, you’ve been familiar with the brand from day one. What are your favourite Marle pieces that you’ve continued to wear from previous seasons and why do they still hold a place in your wardrobe?
I have two of the Jo jumpers and I think I wear them both at least once a week! They are the most comfortable jerseys I own & they go with absolutely everything. I try to invest in pieces of quality as opposed to buying cheap and often. It is the best way to buy as I've been able to curate a wardrobe where most of my pieces work with each other meaning I wear what I own so much more. It also means that what I buy actually lasts the distance and I end up buying less long term.
What is your most treasured object and why?
I was given a vintage gold chain from my parents for my 200th game for New Zealand. My Dad purchased it from a small shop in the same town that I had played the game in. I had pointed it out when we were both looking in the shop and he was sneaky and brought it home with him. Very special and I absolutely love it.
Favourite fabrics to wear?
I have gravitated more toward natural fabrics over the years such as organic cotton, cashmere & wool. It lasts longer and is so much nicer to wear.
Spring, Summer, Autumn or Winter?
Favourite home-cooked meal?
My Mum and Dad are both amazing cooks so we were very well fed. Anything prepared at home by them and shared with family is a favourite home-cooked meal in my opinion.
A Mount Maunganui must do or see?
A walk and a swim at the beach, a coffee at Eddie and Elspeth or Bagel and brew & a visit to Dandie Store. In terms of exercise, definitely Reform Pilates or Natural Fit.