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We’re proud to partner with Women Sport Australia (WSA), an organisation committed to ensuring that women and girls in sport dare to dream by providing opportunities to enable them to fulfil their potential in the sporting arena at all levels, on or off the field of play. To support WSA continue to lead positive change for women in Australian sport, we’ve committed an ongoing donation of $5 for every garment sold from the SJ Sport Collection.

As part of our partnership with WSA, we’re so excited to be able to use our channels to share the stories of two incredible sportswomen with the hope of inspiring others to follow their footsteps.

 
V E R I T Y   C H A R L E S
West Coast Fever Netball Team
 
What is your first memory of sport?
Watching my mum play; I would sit on the sidelines (and by sit I mean run up and down non stop) with my sisters, cheering her on and itching for the clock to tick to quarter time so I could run out there with a ball while mum and her team mates had a drink break.
 
What have been some of the biggest challenges for you?
Challenges come everyday in different shapes and forms. Injuries are a tough one for me but I think the hardest challenge I face day and night is being type one diabetic. Managing blood sugar levels and how much insulin to take isn’t an easy task in itself putting athlete life into the mix with it just ups the anti. Each year that goes by I learn more and get better at handling situations. As much as I hate being diabetic, I know how lucky I am to still be able to live a healthy and happy life.
 
What do you love about Netball?
I LOVE that each and everyday I wake up and go train and play with my teammates. I get to travel with people that have so much passion and strong goals set to win a premiership. I love that I get paid to work out and play sport!
 
Who are your biggest role models?
I see many traits that I admire in many different people. I’ve got some seriously amazing friends that are doing incredible things with their life, I’ve got a husband who is literally a walking superhero but I think I admire the most is people who don’t necessary have the most luxurious lifestyle but are so happy within themselves and know exactly who they are and share that with the world.
 
What would you say are some of the biggest hurdles or challenges for Australian women in sport?
I think some of biggest challenges woman face in sport would be being financially stable. You can’t just be “an athlete” we have to work outside our athletic career to survive and keep a roof over our heads. This is due to woman’s sport still climbing the ladder in the sporting world but I do see woman’s sport getting better and better and that’s exciting.
 
What advice would you give to an aspiring female athlete?
To take any opportunity that comes your way, Jump in and give it 100% as you never know what door or path it may lead to and bloody enjoy it as you go! Sport is FUN and doesn’t last forever so go BIG!

A L E X A N D R A K I R O I

Rhythmic Gymnast

 

What do you love about Gymnastics?

Being able to show your personality and fierceness through individually tailored routines. The challenges and victories that we overcome make us stronger. Competing in front of crowds and having a large support group there with you every step of the way is rewarding.

 

What have been some of your biggest challenges?

Competing an entire year with two stress fractures in my foot was physically traumatising yet a wholesome lesson learned. Preparation for Commonwealth Games 2018, was a unique experience however was more mentally draining from the tension in lead up. The entire experience was worthwhile and I would repeat every aspect from training, to competing and living in the village all over again.  

 

What are your biggest motivators?

Looking back and seeing how far I have come allows me to see how far I can still go and develop, and knowing what my family and support group have done for me to be where I am at today pushes me to want to be better than I was yesterday.

 

What would you say are some of the biggest hurdles or challenges for women in sport?

The standards for appearance and behaviour that are set for women in sport are incredibly demanding. Without support and guidance, it can be difficult for many female athletes to go through.

 

What advice would you give to an aspiring female athlete?

The most important thing is to set goals, big or small they will allow you to grow as an athlete and person. Persevere, give 120%, and enjoy your journey.

 

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