Candis Timms and daughter Wavey at Weston Sports. Photo: Florence Charvin
Candis Timms and daughter Wavey at Weston Sports. Photo: Florence Charvin

[As published in May/June BayBuzz magazine.]

The inspiring journey of Candis Timms and Weston Sports 

In the heartlands of Hastings, nestled off Omahu Rd, Weston Sports celebrates nearly a decade of serving as a beacon of community strength. Behind its success stands Candis Timms, a woman of quiet confidence and boundless inspiration. 

Weston Sports, a haven for the community, emerged from the depths of tragedy. In January 2015, Candis and her husband Nathan faced the unimaginable loss of their firstborn, Weston, at just eight weeks old, to a rare disease known as EB.

Candis, gripped by grief, found solace in a resolve to heal through action and service. “When I lost Weston, I knew I needed to heal,” she confides. Fueled by her passion for physical activity and community engagement, Candis, alongside her sister Celeste Lowe, embarked on a mission to commemorate Weston’s memory. The Weston Sports Touch Academy was born, a Kids Holiday Programme at Frimley School, built on the sisters’ illustrious careers in women’s touch rugby.

Both sisters, as well as their legendary mother Honey, have represented New Zealand in women’s touch rugby for decades. Candis was just 15 years old when she was first selected to play for the under 19 NZ Women’s Touch team and has gone on to play in the NZ under 21s, Open Women’s and now in the NZ Masters team. Candis was a member of the New Zealand side which won silver at the 2021 World Cup in Scotland. 

These incredible sisters most certainly had abundant skills and knowledge to pass on and the motivation to give it wings. The holiday programme attracted 50 kids for two weeks. “I wanted to teach children what I would have loved to teach Weston,” Candis shared. 

The programme worked. Candis enjoyed it so much. “It really filled my cup, and I loved seeing how much the kids enjoyed it, and parents appreciated it.” She started to look at what else was possible.

Candis is proudly born and bred in Flaxmere, initially educated at Irongate School and then Flaxmere College. She had community firmly at the heart of her vision. She wanted to create a safe space, a home away from home, for fitness and community uplift. Growing up, Candis had strong, resilient role models and a life kept busy with sport. Their home was a home for many, a place where her cousins and friends felt welcome, cared for and loved. 

Talking with the community of Weston Sports today, this is exactly what Candis has created and held for the last decade. I heard stories of the creation of great friendships, families bonding, people flourishing, fitness goals reached, the positive addiction of being at Weston Sports, of the magic of this home away from home, the felt sense of being loved and so much more. 

The journey to Weston Sports’ fruition was not without its trials. Yet, fate intervened when Candis crossed paths with local entrepreneurs Connie and Farrell Crystal. Connie and Farrell had recently bought a large industrial building off Omahu Rd that had formerly been a kitchen joinery business. 

Candis and her friend Sarah King pitched their vision to them to provide the community with an environment that provides opportunities to connect with others, to develop lifelong friendships and to achieve their aspiration through exercise, sports and programmes focused on youth and whānau development. Farrell asked them what their time frame for opening was. When Candis said six months, he said, “How about we open in six weeks?” The rest is history. 

Weston Sports now hosts ten-week blocks of indoor netball competition for up to 62 teams every week. Everyone is welcome. Games start at 5.30pm and they host six games a night over five different grades of play. The venue is also rented out for private functions and special events. In addition to this Patu Aotearoa rent the space for four daily group fitness classes. And a catering company, The Morning Kitchen, rent the commercial kitchen to provide 500 school lunches per day to local schools.

The main challenges have been around keeping the activities at Weston Sports affordable. With change of ownership of the venue and ensuing lease negotiations, Candis has a dream of owning the venue one day, as well as seeing it used more during the day. 

Candis affirms that she didn’t do this alone. She praises the consistent support of whānau and friends, but adds, “It’s not that people believe in me, they believe in my values and what I try to portray.” These values have become the values of Weston Sports. 


To be a whānau away from whānau, and create a safe, supportive environment for people to be themselves.


To care for one another and support one another to be the best they can be.


To show pride by role modelling our values and supporting members of the community to achieve their aspirations.

Since the inception of Weston Sports, Candis and her husband Nathan have gone on to have two beautiful daughters, Willow and Wavey. Candis has passed the day-to-day running of the venue to trusted and much-loved staff. Candis remains driven by her wish to serve community, to honour Weston and be a good example for her daughters. 

Today, Weston Sports stands as a testament to resilience and community spirit. Hosting vibrant indoor netball competitions, offering spaces for private functions and partnering with initiatives like Patu Aotearoa and The Morning Kitchen to foster health and wellbeing. It remains a cornerstone of Hastings’ social fabric. 

I bow deeply to the beautiful heart that Candis Timms and the Weston Sports team shares with the world. They inspire me. They give me hope. 

Kate McLeay is a mindfulness mentor, yoga teacher and retreat host based out at the iconic Hawke’s Bay Cape South Country Estate and Wellness Retreat. She teaches weekly yoga classes at Focus Health in Havelock North and runs events and retreats around New Zealand and overseas.


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