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Getting to know popular sports broadcaster Jenny-May Clarkson

Jenny-May Clarkson

A former police officer, Jenny-May is best known for being a Silver Fern from 1997 to 2003. Her international netball career led her to netball commentary in 2003 during the Netball World Championships and has since worked for TV1 Sport and currently as a presenter on TVNZ’s Breakfast. She also worked as an assistant coach for the Northern Mystics and has shared her vast sports experience as a one-on-one life advisory role for young athletes at High Performance Sport NZ (HPSNZ).

Despite building a successful career it is her personal life that Jenny-May values most. Finding true love later in life and following a whirlwind romance, she married Dean Clarkson in 2015. Shortly after, Jenny-May and Dean were blessed with twin baby boys Atawhai and Te Manahau to complete their family, which also include Dean’s two daughters.

Available for:

  • Emcee
  • Guest appearances
  • Endorsements where appropriate
  • Voiceovers

Here’s your chance to learn more about one of New Zealand’s favourite television faces:

What has been the most defining moment in your career and why?
Being dropped from the Silver Ferns.  It taught me that work and sport is what I do it’s not who I am.

How has your life changed since having your twin sons?
Life is a heck of a lot more busy!  Juggling a household with twin boys and tweens takes a lot of organisation and energy!  My kids are everything and I do everything with them in mind but I also know as an individual I need to make sure I take care of me too.  If I’m ok.. our family is ok.

As a proud King Country girl, how are you honouring your Maori heritage?
I speak te reo Maori only to my twin boys.  Maori language is a big part of our whanau.  Our girls have embraced it too and take the opportunity to speak it to their brothers whenever they can.  My journey isn’t finished yet – my intention is to go back to do more study and enhance the reo I already have.

What’s one piece of advice you would give girls dreaming of becoming a Silver Fern?
Play because you love it.  Not everyone can be a Silver Fern but everyone can love playing sport.  It takes lots of hard work but it’s worth it – whether you make it or not.

If you weren’t a broadcaster what would you be doing and why?
I would be helping people or animals.  Since I was young I wanted to be a vet and later at college I wanted to be a police officer or teacher.  My heart is about helping.

You thrive on being busy, how do you keep fit, healthy and balanced?
To be quite honest, fitting in exercise is very difficult!  I don’t have time to get in the car and drive somewhere to attend a class or attend sessions.  I am incredibly fortunate to have a maunga (mountain) behind our home which takes anywhere between 35-45 minutes to go up and down.  It’s got some 900 steps!  My aim is to do that 4 times a week – that’s my cardio and strength all in one and the best thing about it, I don’t have to drive to it!

What’s one thing most people don’t know about you?
I have a massive fear of heights!

When we travelled to South Africa with the Silver Ferns we visited table mountain.  You have to catch a gondola.  I sat down and hugged the gondola floor as we got closer to the top!

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