When Sherry and her husband left Wellington for the warmer climate of Whangarei in 2005, she had no idea that she would soon be competing on the international stage in waka ama.
While Sherry had tried to stay active in Wellington, swimming a couple of times a week, their main exercise at the end of a week of driving a desk, was the walk between bars and restaurants on a Friday night. Her knees told the story - when she moved to Whangarei a specialist informed her she would need both knees replaced within eighteen months, but she could possibly extend the timeframe by losing weight and keeping her legs mobile with biking.
Sherry launched herself into biking and walking and then, in 2007, was invited to take part in a business house waka ama race. This led to a further invitation to compete at the national waka ama sprint championships at Lake Karapiro, where she and her team won the first of many medals. Within a year she was training for the world sprint competitions in Noumea, where her team won gold.
Sherry has subsequently competed in Calgary, Rio de Janeiro, New York, Queensland and Rarotonga, as well as at national and regional competitions in New Zealand. Semi retired, her week now comprises a gruelling schedule of gym, pool and on-water training and her next major goal is to compete as a 70 year old at the world sprint championships in Tahiti in 2018.