A bit about me:

I am based in Dunedin, New Zealand and am a passionate advocate for nurturing athletic talent from small locations and providing developing athletes with the right nutrition stepping stones to elite pathways.

I am a New Zealand Registered Dietitian and Sports Dietitian and have completed my Masters degree investigating the effectiveness of recovery drinks on recovery and immune function in development rowers.

In my spare time I am a busy Mum to three equally busy children, so I understand the chaos of life and trying to be efficient in a time challenged environment.

Before children I was a competitive rower, multi-sporter, adventure racer and then mountain biker and road cyclist but these days I am that Mum at the side-line, encouraging, feeding, and trying to coach my own growing athletes to be the best that they can be.

Who I have worked with:

  • Southern Steel Netball, NZ U21 Netball, Beko Netball League
  • Southland and Otago Rugby Academy Programmes (NZ)
  • High Performance Sports New Zealand (HPSNZ)
  • SnowSports NZ
  • Otago and Southland Academy of Sport Programmes (NZ)
  • Highlanders Rugby Junior Development
  • NZ Motorsport Academy
  • Otago Rowing Association and Southern Regional Performance Hub Rowing (NZ)

Some kind words

Glen Sinclair

Manager, Otago University Rowing Club | President, New Zealand University Rowing

I have worked with Sara Richardson for over 20 years with our young University rowing athletes, many of whom have gone on to represent New Zealand at World and Olympic Games. Sara has advised my athletes on everything from training and race day food to personal hygiene and precautions when traveling and competing in New Zealand and overseas. We regularly compete in China, Russia and other countries where not only the language is foreign to us but of course the food and food labeling.

Rowing is also a sport which has a weight limited grade of competition - any athletes from our club who want to change weight to compete in this must get sign off from Sara before we will allow it. Having worked with so many athletes over the years Sara knows the signs of unhealthy living and will work with the athlete, coach and parent to get the right balance if it is suitable for the athletes body size.

Sara has also worked with our New Zealand Universities Rowing teams competing against Australia and at the World Universities Rowing Championships. Sara's ability to read the athlete and situation to give the athlete enough information to compete at the level they need to without overwhelming them with to much information which turns them off.

Sara is a wealth of knowledge and we are very lucky to of kept this nutrition expert in our city, If you want to get the best advice in a clear, easy to understand way then you should definitely see Sara (but not to many people as we still need her!!!)

Gerardo Luna

Parent of a very active teenage boy

We made the decision to seek Sara's professional advice because as parents of a very active teenage boy we were concerned that he wasn't eating and resting enough for the amount of exercise he did. We encourage his sports activities, but we felt he needed to learn and be more aware of his body nutritional needs. 

Talking with Sara has helped not only our son, but us as parents to be more aware of the types/combination of foods needed for fuel and recovery which is helping him to develop healthy nutritional patterns. 

Her talk hit the right note with both of us, she gave us a good lesson on the basics of carbohydrates and protein, what they are good for (fuel and muscle repair), gave us some good recipes and good food combo ideas and also helped our son understand the importance of 'rest days' and recovery snacks after exercise.

As an adult and sportsperson, I was surprised at my simplistic views on nutrition, and I'm really pleased that my son has had the opportunity to hear the 'facts' from a professional dietitian early in his sports life.

I would highly recommend to parents of active teenagers to seek the professional advice of someone like Sara with a world of knowledge and expertise in this area.

Jo Cook-Bonney

Resource Teacher of Learning and Behaviour

I had the pleasure of meeting Sara after I had been given advice from a friend that she was a wonderful sports nutritionist for teenagers who are struggling with body image and nutrition.

Sara was very professional, sincere and related well to our son, giving sound advice and a plan for moving forward in nutrition and health. She spoke in an easy and relatable way, and focussed on enhancing the positives and gaining maximum benefit nutritionally for our son. Sara was wise with her words and cared about the progress that he made.

Our son was not fuelling his body properly with enough foods or calories for his high sports regime. Sara taught him that by eating healthy and clean foods, he could eat to fuel his performance rather than calorie count. She continues to support us all throughout our endeavours and it is great to know that she is only a text or phone call away. Sara is extremely knowledgeable in this field and I highly recommend her services.

Michael Coutts

Academy Manager, Otago Academy of Sport

The Otago Academy of sport has contracted Sara’s expertise in Sports Nutrition for the past 5 years. In our programme Sara has had the opportunity to work with a wide range of sports from Rowing to boxing, Netball to Curling. Athletes she has worked with come from varied backgrounds and levels of nutritional knowledge, some looking to make a specific weight category while others are looking to improve their pre and post race/event nutrition.

Sara has provided services including; small group workshops, one on one consultations and working with international athletes that have English as their second language.

Sara is very professional and always has the athlete’s best interests at the forefront of her practice. Sara’s advice is always balanced benefitting performance but ensuring that there is no compromise on wellbeing and safety.

Sara is very personable and has a great understanding of nutrition in the sport sector. I would thoroughly recommend her to any young athlete looking to progress their sporting career.