Introducing AIA Vitality Ambassador: Ian Jones
“I’ve played at the very top of elite sport. But for me, my sport has never defined me. My family is what defines me. Being a father and a husband helps to put things in perspective.”
OneLife staff writer
In a career that spanned some 11 years, Ian Jones played over 100 games for the mighty All Blacks - 79 of those test matches. What’s more, Ian scored 14 tries and made 38 appearances in the early years of Super Rugby where he captained the Chiefs. At the time of his retirement, Ian was the second most capped All Black to have ever played. A true sporting legend, Ian is also someone that understands what it’s like to balance the struggle of health and wellbeing.
After Ian retired from professional rugby, he found that his physical and mental health declined: “I thought I’d take some time out but that didn’t work so well for me. My body started to ache, my mental state wasn’t so good, and I wasn’t that fun to be around.” Ian decided that he needed to continue his health journey, so he got involved in adventure and multisport racing.
In March 2017, a few short weeks before his 50th birthday, Ian completed the Taupo Ironman, one of the most gruelling multisport events in the world. “Little by little, step by step, if you do the small things… you can achieve great results.” A Sky Sports commentator and busy husband and father, it’s impressive he still finds the time for events like this. “I’ve played at the very top of elite sport. But for me, my sport has never defined me. My family is what defines me. Being a father and a husband helps to put things in perspective.”
Ian also finds time to give back to the community through philanthropy. Alongside his wife, he set up ‘Eddie’s Meals’, a community food kitchen they host every Friday night with free food, where everyone is welcome. Initially they imagined providing for the homeless or those short of food, which of course they do, but soon realised those in need come in many different guises. "A lot of the people in this room can afford a meal at home, but many are simply lonely and need company and interaction with other people – basically a reason to come out," says Ian.
It’s Ian’s holistic approach to his own lifestyle and his family’s that makes him such a wonderful ambassador for AIA, understanding the importance of eating well, exercising, thinking well and planning for a healthy life. Join Ian Jones on his AIA Vitality journey through Instagram and OneLife to get his tips on the things we can all do to live healthier, longer, better lives.
OneLife staff writers come from a range of backgrounds including health, wellbeing, music, tech, culture and the arts. They spend their time researching the latest data and trends in the health market to deliver up-to-date information, helping everyday New Zealanders live healthier lives.
The information in this article is general information only and is not intended as financial, medical, health, nutritional, tax or other advice. It does not take into account any individual’s personal situation or needs. You should consider obtaining professional advice from a financial adviser and/or tax specialist, or medical or health practitioner, in relation to your own circumstances and before acting on this information.