Jess Coate (Ngapuhi), fitness instructor and bodybuilding pro, organised a hugely successful fun fitness and learning event for BCAC, attended by 80 women in Kirikiriroa Hamilton recently. Jess teamed up with BCAC to raise awareness of the danger breast cancer poses to young women. Watch this awesome video of the event with some vital messages!

Jess’ best friend, BCAC’s Deputy Chair Emma Crowley, was diagnosed with aggressive breast cancer at 24. Jess’ cousin was diagnosed at 35 and her grandma at 82, so she’s well aware that breast cancer can affect you at any age.

Emma, who spoke at the event, says “I think there’s a misconception that young women don’t get breast cancer and that’s just simply not true”. Free mammograms are not available in Aotearoa until age 45, but breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer death for young women.

In the video Kelly explains that having a Stage 4 diagnosis is brutal. “Not knowing how long I would have… and all the things you may not be able to do… If my story helps someone, even now, or 10 years down the track, it could make someone else’s situation different.”

Emma and Kelly both stress the importance of awareness, why screening should be made available to women from a younger age and the need for more funded treatments. They describe how the current system disproportionately affects wāhine Māori.

Jess helps countless New Zealand women in their health and fitness journeys and has a particular interest in supporting and empowering wāhine Māori, who are 1.4 times more likely to die from breast cancer than non-Māori.

The fun day of learning, fitness, fun and empowerment included hula, yoga, boxing and a high intensity workout as well as health seminars on nutrition, supplements and osteopathy.

Through ticket sales, donations and a fantastic raffle with donated goods from attending businesses, $5100 was raised for BCAC, and we’re thrilled that Jess has chosen to support us. Jess hopes to take this expo all over New Zealand, so keep an eye out for the next one in a town near you!

The video is part of the Ohinga reo Māori series, created by Mahi Tahi, with funding from Te Māngai Pāho.

The expo was supported by the following local businesses: Prostyle Hairdressers Hamilton, Caci Clinic Rototuna, Hera Apparel, Wahine Toa Apparel, Sportsfuel Supplements, Ofa Beauty, Tanya Momo Wellness, Motion Plus Osteo, Snackn,, e.fragrance.fam, Goodcube, Ebony Ngatoko, Patu Kaikohe, Natasha Henare, HIT Fitness HQ.