IF I wanted to play contact sport when I was growing up, the only place I could do it was the backyard.
In the late ’80s and early ’90s I knew I couldn’t take it anywhere other than that. A lot of male athletes are groomed to be professional athletes from the age of 13 or 14. They’re headhunted, targeted, they go to high schools that push them in the right direction to give them that elite possibility. Not me. My sports career has been essentially backwards.
I’ve worked, studied, found a career and I’ve been able to fit some footy in at the end of that.
You need to be organised to juggle a sports career and work. You need to have people in your support network that are going to be understanding
Girls playing footy, what more could you ask for ?
of the commitments you have. I’m at work by 7.30 in the morning and sometimes won’t get home from training until 9.30 at night. It’s a very intense time but the fact it’s a short season means I can get through it. If it was a whole year, I don’t know if I’d have the stamina. But I’m glad I have a chance to be part of it for a short time. Over the last five or eight years, unless you’ve been under a rock, you would have noticed the explosion in women’s participation in sport. It’s great to see our passion and love for the sport acknowledged and nurtured and put in a public arena through a professional organisation. There are detractors, but if people don’t want to watch it, or don’t like it, or think it’s not as skilled as the men’s game, that’s OK. We’ll just keep going about our business. We’ll keep working hard and building our skill level. We don’t listen to background noise.
But the impact of AFLW is undeniable. The best thing for me is seeing little girls run around and play footy just for the love of it.
If they want to follow a professional pathway in to AFLW one day, good luck to them.
But if they don’t, they’re just running around with their friends, kicking a footy, having a good time — what more could you ask for?
Captain GWS Giants AFLW 2017-19
Runner-up AFLW Best Captain 2018 Mostyn Medal winner 2015, 2017 Giants Community and Members’ Award 2017
Women’s All Star match 2016