WOMEN RE­LEASE IN­NER NIN­JAS

Even more fe­male com­peti­tors have stepped up to tackle the supreme chal­lenge on of­fer in the sec­ond sea­son of Aus­tralian Ninja Warrior

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - PLAY - SEANNA CRONIN

More women are ris­ing to the chal­lenge of Aus­tralian Ninja Warrior as the hit ob­sta­cle course se­ries re­turns for a sec­ond sea­son.

The six fe­males who made it to the semi-fi­nals last year are back, and hot on their heels are more women who have taken up ninja train­ing as in­spired by An­drea Hah, who con­quered the warped wall, and for­mer gymnast Olivia Vi­vian.

It’s in­spir­ing for re­turn­ing co-host Re­becca Maddern, who was ex­pect­ing her first child dur­ing film­ing.

She and hus­band Trent Miller wel­comed their daugh­ter Ruby into the world a few months ago.

“The women are phe­nom­e­nal this year,” she says.

“It is re­ally ex­tra­or­di­nary to wit­ness; what an ex­am­ple to set not just for their kids but for other mums out there.

“On some oc­ca­sions I got tears in my eyes … it’s so em­pow­er­ing to watch that hap­pen in front of you. There are so many great things that have hap­pened for fe­males in Aus­tralian sport in the past two years and this is just an­other ad­di­tion to that.”

View­ers will see plenty of other fa­mil­iar faces – in­clud­ing Mount Isa’s ‘deadly ninja’ Jack Wil­son, the Ravi broth­ers, Ben Pol­son and sea­son one fi­nal­ist Luke Wil­liams – with 90 per cent of last year’s con­tes­tants ap­ply­ing for sea­son two.

“These peo­ple were so good in sea­son one. I didn’t think it was pos­si­ble to get fit­ter and bet­ter, but some of our re­turn­ing heroes are fit­ter and bet­ter than last year and that has blown me away,” Maddern says.

“These peo­ple had six packs last year and now they have 12 packs.”

With more com­peti­tors, a longer course, and more semi­fi­nals and grand fi­nal stages, Ninja Warrior prom­ises more high-fly­ing thrills and spills.

“We sit back and do marvel at what these com­peti­tors do. It’s eas­ier this year (for us as hosts), but in say­ing that there are things that have hap­pened that we never would have pre­dicted,” she says. “There are some shocks, which make for a great TV show.

“There is no script to this. They stand there, the buzzer goes off and we don’t know what hap­pens next.

“More of­ten than not when you think this per­son is on a roll they’ll slip up and it’s all over.

“You re­ally go on the course with them, rid­ing ev­ery bump and grasp and jolt.

“The un­der­ly­ing theme of the whole show is ‘I’m go­ing to give this a go’.

“I think that makes up so much of the Aus­tralian psy­che and this is just ex­trap­o­lat­ing that. It’s about fit­ness, health, giv­ing it a go, set­ting your­self a goal and achiev­ing that goal, and if you don’t then try harder and im­prove your­self.”

Sea­son two of Aus­tralian Ninja Warrior pre­mieres on Sun­day at 7pm on Chan­nel 9

THERE ARE SOME SHOCKS, WHICH MAKE FOR A GREAT TV SHOW

Check out for­mer gymnast Olivia Vi­vian in ac­tion in sea­son two of Aus­tralian Ninja Warrior, which pre­mieres on Sun­day.

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