Whether it’s out and about enjoying the great Newfoundland outdoors, or inside in the always bustling NTV newsroom, these three ladies say that life just couldn’t possibly get any sweeter; unless co-worker Eddie Sheerr could rustle up more snow days, that is!
NTV’s Jodi Cooke, Leila Beaudoin and Kelly-Anne Roberts, share a few common goals. For one, all three love what they do for a living, and each share that working for NTV has been a dream come true.
But what they also have in common is a love of the great NL outdoors, and any chance they get to get out and enjoy, they do just that.
While Jodi Cooke is the always polished co-anchor of the award-winning The Sunday Evening Newshour, the province’s only televised weekend news broadcast, she also polishes something else; her skis.
‘The Simple Things’
“I love being on the slopes. If I wasn’t on television, I’d be doing something with skiing, like coaching. It’s one of my passions,” she shares. Not that Cooke doesn’t also enjoy chillin’ in her downtime too.
“It’s the simple things I enjoy most,” she says with a smile.
Living in the country these past two years has really changed her perspective on herself and her personality, she adds.
“There’s this recognition that I am an introverted extrovert. I’m with people all day – Monday through Friday – and I love that part, but I also like to completely shut down and shutting it off and having no cell service and not speaking at all for two days a week,” she shares.
So, what would one do while shutting off, we ask. Her reply? “Nothing. Lots and lots of nothing. It’s just a wood stove and a rocking chair. Maybe (husband) Dave and I will walk in the woods or walk to the beach or do some ice skating. We may collect some drift wood or split wood. It’s a dream life. Work is what I have always wanted, and my downtime is what I never knew I wanted, but I always sort of needed,” she shares candidly.
Leila Beaudoin grew up on the Northern Peninsula. “There, we would snowmobile as often as drive a truck or a car in the winter months. At times there was so much snow I’d go to school on snowmobile, or else I wouldn’t get there,” she says with a smile as the memories come flooding back.
Beaudoin’s father was what she calls a back country snowmobiler, and that lifestyle suited her just fine. “We spent all of our winters ice fishing, sledding, going for cook ups and just being active outside. It was a big part of who I was and who am now and it was part of and is my culture.”
Now that she’s a busy reporter with NTV, life has changed a little, but she still seizes the opportunity to enjoy what she loves as often as she can.
“The beautiful thing about this company is that we are island wide, so connecting with people and stories around this province is key. I get to pitch stories that can get me to the Northern Peninsula at times and that’s my opportunity to get in the back country and go sledding,” she says.
NTV’s Inspiring NL
One thing Beaudoin is quite proud of is her weekly Thursday feature, Inspiring NL. “It’s very rewarding, I have to say. In this industry, there’s many difficult stories you have to tell, and it’s a unique job because you often take a lot of what you cover home with you at the end of the day,” she says.
But with Inspiring NL, it’s different. “You are finding the sweet spots in life and people take the time to tell us about things that really impact their life in a positive light. It’s a great way to balance a newscast, and I love doing those stories.”
When she’s not on the job, Beaudoin can be found “in the country.”
“I’m a country person. I love going to a cabin or cross country skiing or having fires or hiking or snowshoeing. It’s difficult at times to find the time, but I love the woods. It’s my favourite place and this winter is especially great for getting outside I love the snow, and there’s lots of it this year,” she says.
Beaudoin takes the time to share a story from her childhood. She and her sister were on a sled with her dad coming back from an excursion. “We were coming back from some ice fishing and we were on a VK540 and if anyone knows snowmobiles, they are gigantic sleds.”
They were coming up a hill towards their cabin. “Mom was looking out the window and the sled tipped over on all three of us and she panicked. We were fine because there was so much snow, but I’m sure mom had a moment. It’s something I never forgot. I wasn’t scared, we laughed after, but it was memorable.”
Playing with the Boys
Roberts smiles. She also takes a trip down memory lane. “Growing up, I could skate before I could walk. Dad made a rink in the backyard and was adamant that there was going to be skates on my feet, no matter what, and from there, the love for skating and the ice took off.”
Roberts shares she doesn’t remember a time when she didn’t love lacing up her skates. “September came around and it was practice time, and I loved it,” she says.
While Roberts was born in Newfoundland the family moved to Nunavut and then to Alberta. “I learned to skate really well in Nunavut. There’s lots of natural ice and not many kids so I had lots of instruction time, and then we moved to Alberta and that’s when I started to really play hockey.”
Hockey earned Roberts a scholarship and she played throughout college. Another interesting thing about Roberts is that she grew up playing mostly with boys. In fact, even today, she’s the only female on her Thursday evening for-fun hockey team.
“I grew up playing boys’ hockey, I didn’t start playing on girls’ hockey teams until later. Now, I play every Thursday night with a bunch of guys from work and I’m the only girl out there, but it really doesn’t matter.”
Roberts says sports not only kept her active, but it also is a huge part of her social time as well.
“Conversations in the newsroom, it could be with Mark (Dwyer, News-director) or Tony (Barrington, cameraman) always involve sports. Who had a big night in sports? We talk a lot about local sports and players; from the Edge to the Growlers, and we say how well the teams are doing. I talk with Eddie (Sheerr) about rowing or golf. Did you see this game, or did you catch that play, is part of my morning conversation,” she says.
Roberts, who moved back to this province to take a full time position with NTV, says that being here is a life that’s come full circle.
“I put on my first pair of skates here, and now I work here and play here. I think it’s great.”
Cooke, who is preparing to head out on vacation soon after we speak – going where else? Skiing – says she couldn’t be more thrilled with how life has turned out both career and leisure-wise.
“My brother Joel, who is a mountain guide, inspired me to love the outdoors. Everything he did, I wanted to do. Today he lives over in the mountains in Europe and lives an amazing life. Me? I get to work for the best company in the world – NTV – and in my downtime, I enjoy the beautiful outdoors life that this province is known for.”
As the women prepare to head back to work, the snow begins to fall lightly outside the office window. All three smile. Too bad there’s no snow days in a newsroom, I joke. Their smiles turn to frowns – briefly. “No,” says Cooke. ‘‘That’s true. But we get to enjoy it later when we’re off. Work hard, play hard, right ladies?”
While there’s no direct response, the air is filled with positive back-at-it attitudes. Go get ‘em ladies!