Row for Respect

 Last June, Nicola Goss walked away from an abusive relationship that had lasted seven months. She received government-funded counselling including EMDR therapy. She has found the counsellng and therapy very effective and she is really grateful for the support she received.

Nicola decided she wanted to give back and raise awareness of the importance of respect in all aspects of life – respect for partners, family members, work colleagues, teachers, students, teammates, the environment and self-respect. In order to raise awareness and help to prevent others suffering as she did she committed to two physical challenges to raise funds for White Ribbon to assist us in our efforts to prevent violence through challenging unhelpful attitudes and encouraging behavioural change. Respect, especially within relationships, is central to White Ribbon’s kaupapa.

Her fundraising events “Row for Respect” took place in November. The first was a half marathon on the rowing machine which she did on the 2nd of November at her gym in Palmerston North and the second was a full marathon on the rowing machine which she did at the New Zealand Indoor Rowing Championships in Cambridge.

The first event was the 3rd time she had completed a half marathon. Nicola bet her personal best time, set a New Zealand record for her age group (it’s the fastest time recorded for all females) and she is currently the fastest female in the world for this year’s Concept 2 world rankings (1st May 2019 – 30th April 2020).

The full marathon was the first one she had ever done. She got a singlet, t-shirt and information board printed for the event. Nicola noted: “I started well however with 19km to go it became quite challenging, I got a few blisters and I had to stop a number of times to fuel up. I managed to avoid cramp, which I could start to feel coming on – I was super lucky it magically disappeared but I timed my sprint finish a little too late. The marathon was a new experience and there are a lot of lessons to take away from it.”

We are extremely grateful to Nicola for choosing to fundraise for White Ribbon and for committing to raising awareness of the issue of violence in our society and the need for respect to underpin all our relationships. We are delighted she achieved her goals and want to celebrate her success both in rowing and in surviving an abusive relationship.

If you have a great idea to raise awareness in your community or fundraise for White Ribbon please get in touch with us at We are happy to provide resources and help to publicise community events.

Comments are closed.