The Newsroom Blog

VIDEO: Family, Faith and Maori Culture Support Teen Weightlifter

Kelsea Elkington, 15, from Takapuwahia is a promising competitive weightlifter invited to join the national Olympic weightlifting development team.

Her success has a lot to do with being grounded in her large extended family, her church and her Maori culture, according to her father Jay Elkington.

She and her family belong to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

As a family we focus on “the things that are more important in life.  And for us that’s the Church first, culture second and anything else we can fit in after that,” he says in the accompanying video.

Jason Murray and a team of five other student video journalists from America, who spent their summer filming in New Zealand as part of an internship program from Brigham Young University, produced the video featuring Kelsea. 

Brigham Young University (BYU) is part of the Educational System of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Browse the Blog

About The Blog: This blog is managed and written by staff of the Public Affairs Department of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The information here is reliable and accurate but should not necessarily be viewed as official statements from the Church. The purpose of this blog is to provide journalists, bloggers, and the public with additional context and information regarding public issues involving the Church. For official news releases and statements from the Church, visit

Style Guide Note: When reporting about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, please use the complete name of the Church in the first reference. For more information on the use of the name of the Church, go to our online Style Guide.