Black Ferns sevens star Stacey Fluhler is proving she has more than electric speed and a wicked sidestep in her bag of tricks.
Had all gone to plan this year, the Whakatāne born and raised athlete would have been in Tokyo for the Olympics right now. Unfortunately, the Covid-19 pandemic traps them in New Zealand for the foreseeable future and the Olympics are postponed to 2021.
Fluhler, well known for the ear-to-ear smile she wears on the field, is not one for self-pity or moping and has made use of the extra time at home.
Accustomed to being interviewed on television, she has now stepped onto the other side as co-presenter of Te Ao Toa, a weekly sports show on Māori Television, alongside former Kiwi league star Wairangi Koopu.
"Māori TV haven't really had a proper Māori sports show in a while and this year after lockdown they wanted to start one. They already had Wairangi as the lead and wanted a female athlete so they reached out," Fluhler said.
"I never really grew up wanting to be a presenter or in the media but I suppose through rugby it has excelled my skills at speaking and I thought 'why not?' I enjoy talking about sport in general and thought this could be a pathway for me to take."
As well as being enthusiastic about sport, Fluhler is passionate about her culture so Māori Television was the perfect fit.
"Embracing my culture is a big part of my values and who I am so I thought this was a cool opportunity to give back, not only to the community, but to my Māori people as well. Sharing stories about Māori athletes is cool because not only am I helping them, I'm learning lots about other athletes and sports that I would never have known about otherwise.
"There were lots of nerves, in terms of having zero experience before actually presenting. I've been learning along the way - there's always nerves, it's actually the same as being in the tunnel waiting to run out onto the rugby field, the butterflies come rushing in, but it's going well.
"Wairangi has been in this industry a long time now and the way he's been able to teach me and help me has been awesome. I've enjoyed it so far and media is such a big thing with telling stories and meeting people. There's a lot in this industry that I can thrive off and opportunities after rugby that I can strive for."
Fluhler said she was "gutted" to not be in Japan, but had maintained a positive mindset.
"I'm probably not as gutted as some of the older girls, this probably would've been their last campaign, but I'm only 24. I missed out on the last Olympics so it would've been nice to get there this year but there have been so many other things I've been able to do."
As well as television presenting, she has been involved in the production of a book, Wahine Toa: Stacey Waaka by David Riley, and helped the Melville women's rugby team to the Waikato Club Championship.
"The books arrived in May and it's been awesome. The author interviewed me and it's about my journey, growing up in the small rural town Ruatoki to travelling worldwide as a professional rugby player and all the challenges I've overcome so far.
"It's definitely not an autobiography, it's more aimed at young kids and inspiring them to succeed in whatever endeavour they choose."
Te Ao Toa screens on Māori Television at 5pm every Sunday and can be viewed online at maoritelevision.com