Janet Lightbody - An interview with GUST's leading lady
Despite working in the world of glossy magazines, Janet has her feet firmly on the ground – a fact evident in her mission statement, “To market our sport far and wide and to maintain the healthy, safe and responsible image of kiteboarding.” Her drive, energy and dedication for the sport puts wind in the industry’s sails – here’s a glimpse into her world!
Full name: Janet Lightbody
Age: 28 years old
Years Kiting: 3.5 years
Star sign: Sagittarius
Quote of the day: “There can be no great achievement without taking great risk”
What’s an average day in the GUST office for you as publisher/editor?
Fire-fighting! Just kidding – the day usually starts with updating my cashflow analysis for the business, then checking mails, arranging meetings with potential clients or event sponsors. I even log new subscribers! I would say it’s a medley of creative problem solving as with publishing, things always change and you never experience the same day twice!
Tell me a little about your inspiration to tackle kiting media?
I started working for the magazine, kind of like you writing for ikiteboarding now, and it was a natural progression just to handle the entire process. I never made a decision to run GUST, it kind of just happened, so I suppose it was fuelled by my passion for sharing the awesome lifestyle I live with other people and promoting to those who may not have been exposed to the joys of wind sports from an early age.
What qualifications did you hold (official and unofficial - like a diploma (official), and the ability to think big (unofficial)?
I studied finance and property at UCT for four years and graduated with a BSC Property Studies. We were the first year to graduate with this degree in 2001. Other qualifications – I suppose ‘Chief fire fighter’ and ‘out of the box problem solver!’ ?
How were the first few months?
FUN FUN FUN
How long has GUST been running now?
What have been some of the high points, and low points?
Terri Kidson will remember arriving at GUST offices one day and finding me literally lying on the floor in hysterical panic and half nervous laughter. My bank manager was NOT going to extend my overdraft, and I had printers ringing me three times a day calling on me for money I owed them!
The high points are the letters, sms’s and phone calls I get every day from readers, kids and friends who thank me for the work I do – that makes it all worth it!
What do you think the media's role is in the kite industry?
To market our sport far and wide and to maintain the healthy, safe and responsible image of kiteboarding. We have an important role to market kiting in a sustainable way in order to grow and attract new-comers to the sport.
What are your hopes for the industry?
To continue to collaborate and work together to hold the SA flag high – raising the profile of our country as one of the most sought after kiting destinations on the planet.
To build a national kitesurfing circuit and to attract more corporate sponsors to the industry.
What is your favourite part of your job?
Being in a position to make a difference, not only to other people’s lives, but to communicate an important message.
Name some of the famous kiters you have met?
Aaron Hadlow, Ruben Len10, Alex Caizergues, Kevin Langeree, Bruna, Jo Wilson, Jalou, Mike Smith, Adam Koch and many more. My favourites are the home grown honies like “Showcat”!
What are some of the development initiatives you have been a part of or initiated (ladies, underpriveledged children etc)?
Kids Windsurfing – see latest GUST (issue 22) for info and sponsors.
GUST GIRLS - getting girls into the sport is so important!
Check out gustmagazine.com for more info! Visit the GUST group on facebook.