The three Kiwis who just won $10,000 each to help their pursuit for greatness

Anna Wenham.
Anna Wenham. Photo credit: supplied

Recently, The AM Show and Colgate Total put out a call to New Zealanders striving for greatness, looking for three lucky winners to take home a cash grant of $10,000 each.

Kiwis were asked to share inspiring stories of how they have been pushing themselves beyond their limits to achieve their own individual greatness. 

There was an overwhelming number of entrants, but after careful consideration, the three Greatness Grant winners were chosen and awarded their prizes live on The AM Show.

So who were these winners and how does winning $10,000 help them on their quest for greatness?

Anna Wenham

A 30-year-old mother of two, Anna is striving for greatness in a male dominated sport she discovered in her mid-20s.

"I was going through a really difficult time mentally with depression and anxiety. Jiu jitsu gave me a meaning and a purpose, and it also gave me a safe place to go and train to get away from all the pressures of life," said Anna.

"It taught me to persevere, to keep calm under pressure - it's changed my view on the world."

Not content with simply mastering the martial art herself, Anna is on a mission to share her passion for jiu jitsu with young women. She wants to empower them in the same way she was empowered.

"When you're a teenager you're always comparing yourself to other people, often negatively. Jiu jitsu gave me a confidence I'd never had before and I want to give that to these girls. I want to show them they can do anything and be unique to who they are as themselves."

Anna said the Greatness Grant has made things more achievable for her. Having a young family can make it financially difficult to follow dreams like becoming a jiu jitsu teacher - but Anna can pursue her goals now versus in the future.

"I'll be so happy to see these girls to have the confidence to take on any challenges in life. It'll make me so happy."

Tyler Bailey.
Tyler Bailey. Photo credit: supplied

Tyler Bailey

Diagnosed at age three with Asperger syndrome, Tyler strives for greatness at drumming - and achieves it with aplomb.

He's been impressing people with his drum skills for years, despite only being aged 21, and has already played with the likes of Jon Toogood and Dave Dobbyn.

"Drumming is therapeutic for me as an everyday thing. I can always count on whacking my drums to let out whatever frustrations I have throughout the day. Beyond that, it's an instrument for esteem for me, because of how blatantly I excel at it," said Tyler.

"It's something I can fall back on if I ever doubt or question myself."

Instead of doing a drum solo to showcase his skills, Tyler used his time on The AM Show to play with his band Fre3dom to help out his mates, too. But plenty of his solo work is captured on videos on his Facebook page.

He also didn't nominate himself for the Greatness Grant - that was his dad, Trevor, who is very proud of his boy.

"I'm happy he's got this in his life," Trevor told Newshub. "When he's behind the drumkit, that's where he belongs. It just clicked, when he was about nine, and once it clicked we just ran with it. When you have a kid on the autistic spectrum and they find something that gives them meaning in life, yeah we just ran with it."

The Greatness Grant will boost Tyler's career, helping with uni costs as he completes his Bachelor of Music degree as well as going toward recording studio time and assisting with travel costs.

Kylie Champness.
Kylie Champness. Photo credit: supplied

Kylie Champness

A stay-at-home mum for the past seven years, Kylie had it tough over the last year. During the COVID-19 pandemic, her husband was made redundant and her dad got cancer.

But she "flipped the tide", launching her own business,  grown+gathered, which sells locally grown and foraged flowers and foliage to florists.

"I realised after a rocky 2020 how important working the soil, growing the garden and harvesting the flowers was to my wellbeing. Also my me time, as a mum, putting myself first and upskilling myself with business knowledge for running my small business and everything that entails," said Kylie.

"The grant is a huge leap for my business. I was going to spend the whole next year getting my business set up online with a website and e-commerce, funding the technology to be able to do all that. It means I can jump straight to doing that and upskill myself so much faster.

"I hope I can share my love of flowers so that other people find their own joy in the flowers they can grow in their backyard."

Once grown+gathered is more established as an online business, Kylie wants to empower other people not only to share her passion for flowers, but also in how to build their own business.

Her strive for individual greatness is to instill a passion for greatness in other people, too.

This article was created for Colgate Total