Surfing: NZ's Ella Williams encourages athletes to shift focus amid COVID-19 shutdown

As Kiwis find creative ways to stay fit under lockdown, many athletes' entire routines have had to change, due to COVID-19.  

That's the case for Kiwi surfer Ella Williams, who - despite the barriers -, is determined to stay positive while her training's on hold and is calling on others to do the same for their mental well-being.    

"For me, not being in the salt ocean will be a bit of a challenge," Williams told Newshub. "But over the next four weeks, we're all doing things we wouldn't want to be doing." 

This year promised to be a landmark for Williams, with a World Surf League tour and an Olympics debut ahead.

But while her long-awaited Tokyo dream will have to wait another year, her entire focus is now on maintaining her physical and mental well-being.

"Fifty percent mental and 50 percent physical, I think, adds up a really good combination."

And she's not the only one. 

The NZ Olympic Committee is concerned for athletes nationwide, as they deal with the disappointment of Games postponement in lockdown.

"The last few weeks have been very stressful for athletes," said NZOC chief executive Kereyn Smith. 

"The window for qualification has been closing, events have been cancelled. It's a very expensive undertaking."

Williams admits it's tough, but she encourages everyone to use the forced break as an opportunity to take stock. 

"Enjoy a bit of a rest," said Williams. "As Kiwis, we all work so hard.

"It might be meditating for five minutes or just doing some stretching."  

Watch the full story above