Aerobics: Maintaining family tradition of excellence

Dunedin's Jan Still wins the first of her Masters Games gold medals in aerobics. Photo by Jane Dawber.
Dunedin's Jan Still wins the first of her Masters Games gold medals in aerobics. Photo by Jane Dawber.
Jan Still is maintaining the standards set by her grandfather as she completes a busy schedule at the Masters Games.

Still's grandfather, Teddy Isaacs, was a tireless promoter of Otago sport when he worked as sports editor of the Otago Daily Times and news editor of the Evening Star.

He backed all sports but swimming was his first love.

He was a life member of the Otago Swimming Centre.

Still (46) is the co-ordinator of aerobics at the Masters Games and is competing in aerobics, ice-skating, indoor rowing and gymnastics.

She has won a gold medal in aerobics, and in ice-skating she has won a gold medal in the stroking event and a silver in individual free skating.

Because of her tight schedule she missed her rowing heat, but more medals are expected in the novice bar and vault in gymnastics.

The family tradition of sporting excellence goes further because Still's grandmother, Tiny Isaacs (nee Morrison), won the first New Zealand springboard diving title in 1924 at the age of 14.

Still's great-grandfather, Dick Isaacs, played 18 games for the Otago rugby team between 1887 and 1892 and managed the unbeaten All Black team on its tour of Australia in 1914.

Her father, Clarke Isaacs, a former chief of staff at the ODT, is a member of the Civil Service Harrier Club.

Still is used to juggling many aspects of her life together.

"I'm a pharmacy technician by day and a part-time aerobics instructor at night," she said.

She also supports her children with their sports.

Gemma (13) has represented Otago at badminton and Holly (18) holds an Otago secondary school high jump record in athletics.

This is her sixth New Zealand Masters Games and she has won more than 20 gold medals.

"I've still got to get them engraved," she said. "I've got them strung over door handles. They make a clinking noise when I walk past."

The Masters Games has a special place in Still's life.

"I love the friendly atmosphere, the people and their strong desire to win medals."

 

Teddy Isaacs

Lovely to read this. I met Teddy Isaacs, when he was locum tenens editor of The Greymouth Evening Star in the late 1950s. Wonderful old man, just like Mark Twain. Great to read of this family tradition.