Sunshine Coast barrel racer and mother of three Tara Pitt says she wanted to compete in the new series of Australian Survivor to help promote her sport.
The former Roma resident of 11 years, who grew up at Beaudesert, is among 24 entrants in the new series which screens on Channel 10 on Sunday evening.
Ahead of the games kick-off, Tara will be in Roma on Saturday as the VIP guest and Master of Ceremonies at the Roma Footy & Fillies Family Race Day at Bassett Park.
The 32-year-old said she had never been a huge fan of the Survivor series but followed the show in 2016 and felt inspired to have a go.
“I just had the idea and felt that at this stage in my life, why not give it a go,” she said.
Currently studying full-time for an undergraduate degree in Bachelor of Education majoring in Drama and History, Tara wants to prove that she is much more than just a stay-at-home mum to her three boys, Jett, 10, Zai, 8 and Nash, 4.
As part of her application, Tara had to complete interviews, auditions and a medical that included a 200m swim, 1.5km run and basic gym work.
“That wasn’t too difficult – it would be hard if you weren’t mobile but if you can run and swim you are pretty much in,” she said.
A keen horsewoman, Tara said she wanted to use her time on Australian Survivor to promote her sport.
“I didn’t want to get branded with the stay-at-home-mum tag in this show - instead I thought it would be a good opportunity to promote barrel racing,” she said.
“I’m the director of the National Barrel Horse Association (NBHA) and wore my shirt on the show to help spread the word about it.”
Tara said deciding to apply for the game, which lasts 55 days and is filmed in Samoa, was something she discussed at length with her husband Michael, who works in the oil and gas industry at Roma on a two-week fly-in-fly-out basis.
Fortunately, Tara’s mum, Shirley Blair, was keen to help Tara realise her goal of competing in the game.
“Mum was there supporting me right from the beginning,” she said.
“Every time I had doubts and thought maybe I shouldn’t go Mum was there pushing me and ensuring me she’d look after the kids when Michael was away.
“There is just that feeling of leaving your kids behind, missing out on their schooling and all that.”
Having committed to such a family sacrifice,Tara said was in the game to win.
“I am not going to spend this much time away from my family for the experience. I am here to win it,” she said.
“My boys sometimes think girls cannot do much so I want to show them that we can.”
Tara’s strategy is to find someone to attach herself to and then when the time is right, she will turn on them. She is not afraid to burn people to get ahead in the game.
“I want to find someone and be like besties. Do everything together, do each other’s hair and then I will turn on them.
“The island is going to need some personality, fun, entertainment and drama – I am the perfect person for the job.”