The 2018 Vodafone Workplace Challenge Southland winners – Southland Hospital’s the Delusional Fitbits – are continuing their momentum signing up for the ICC Surf to City and a half marathon next year.

The challenge ran throughout September and encouraged teams within workplaces to get out and about and more active throughout Southland. About 150 teams participated.

Winner - VWPC

The Delusional Fitbits comprise five Southern DHB staff members at Southland Hospital; Alana Kennedy (Community Mental Health Nurse), Marla Troon (Community Mental Health Nurse), Kate MacLennan (Occupational Therapist), Lynda Morrison (Community Mental Health Nurse) and Louise Chan (Clinical Nurse Specialist). 

Louise said taking part in the challenge had completely changed their outlook as individuals and as a team that works together in mental health services.

“This was an extra-ordinary achievement, not only due to the amount of self-confidence, self-esteem and body confidence it brought the team, but also the incredible personal and individual growth.”

The Delusional Fitbits took on 39 challenges, including some they had never have previously considered – an aerial ropes course, clip’n’climb and weekly park runs.

The spirit of the some of the activities was also important – such as cooking a healthy meal together, Marla says.

Their workplace challenge experiences had also translated to adding to the vegetable garden at the hospital, and the addition of indoor bowls as a client activity.

“It’s really good for our people out there, to see our faces out there walking the talk,” Marla says.

The team also supported two charities, with a workplace collection for Uplift Bras – which collects new and second hand bras and sends them wherever they are needed – and Sanitary Products in New Zealand Schools (SPINZS) – which purchases and distributes sanitary products to schools where girls and families can’t afford to buy them.


The team hope their experiences might inspire others within the DHB, and other workplaces, to look at some of the many opportunities available in Southland for people to get together for a good cause.

Delusional Fitbits are not putting their feet up after the challenge – committing to the ICC Surf to City, in March 2019 and the Saint Clair Half Marathon in Blenheim, in May 2019.

“We want to keep doing things. Doing them as a group. Getting to know each other is really important,” Louise says.

The team are continuing their weekly parkrun, yoga and aqua jogging, and are planning to try both line-dancing and rock’n’roll dancing.

“It’s about the confidence. A few of us hadn’t done anything before. Now it’s like there isn’t anything that’s impossible,” Louise says.