After high school Brenda had a 15-year break where she “didn’t do anything”, then when she got around to getting active again, she did it by walking first, then running eventually. 

Now Brenda loves the supportive Parkrun community and says it doesn’t matter how fast you walk or run, how much you jiggle, how grey your hair is or how daggy your clothes are – “there’s no judgement”.

“Everyone’s in the same boat, even though some people do it way faster than others, there’s also people who walk or run slowly – it’s a really level playing field, I love it!”


After a nervous beginning, soccer has become the cornerstone of Emine’s life, but her team doesn’t just play soccer – they dance! 

“I felt nervous, and it was kind of scary because you don’t know anything. I haven’t played football and I wasn’t fit, that’s why it was scary because I didn’t know if I was able to play,” she explained.

Emine has gone from emigrating from Turkey with no friends, to being part of a soccer community that meets for breakfast before they play – both parents and kids!

“We dance to warm up, and we dance at the end,” she laughed, “we always lose but we dance, we’re always dancing.” 


Every time she gets active, body-positive personal trainer Natasha is blown away by how great she feels.

“There are 100 reasons to exercise and trying to look a certain way doesn’t have to be one of them.”

Natasha once had doubts about running a fitness class because of how her body looks. Now as a personal trainer, Natasha says her body is a “bloody brilliant business card…definitely not flawless, but it’s perfect because it’s imperfect.”

Try Natasha’s at-home workout

Listen to Natasha’s episode of the This Girl Can – VIC podcast


Growing up as someone who preferred all kinds of other extra-curricular activities over sport, Kirsten found her running rhythm in her thirties. Now she loves her weekly ‘5am Sisters’ running group of Indigenous women who “pump each other up” and run to feel good rather than chasing the unattainable “Beyoncé body.”

How does she feel about running now compared with when she was growing up? “I mean for one I feel tired,” she laughed, “but I feel strong and powerful.”

Listen to Kirsten’s episode of the This Girl Can – VIC podcast


After her first child, Sana realised she needed to get stronger physically and mentally. “Stress comes with the job of motherhood, and stress is a physical thing, so you need a physical outlet for it”. 

Now Sana does strength training at home while her baby is sleeping: “My second child has not been an easy baby from day one, but I’ve been able to handle it better.”.


Jagriti dances to forget her worries and be present.

“I grew up being judged on my skin colour – not in Australia but in India where the darker you are the less pretty you are”.

She also grew up thinking she wasn’t skinny enough, but through dance, she feels “totally alive” and doesn’t worry about what she looks like – “If I’m the biggest one, I’m fine with that.” 

Try Jagriti’s at-home dance class


Sue always wanted to play Australian Rules Football, but was repeatedly told she can’t – at school, by her dad and even by her daughter.

Inspired by the launch of AFLW, at 53 years old Sue finally made her footy debut. “God I wish this had been around when I was a kid ‘cause I’d have been there in a flash,” she said.

Sue has continued to play alongside five of the women she met at the original ‘come and try’ day for AFL Women’s Masters. 

Listen to Sue’s episode of the This Girl Can – VIC podcast


Katherine has always been a huge fan of skateboarding, but after falling off the first board she stood on, she stuck to spectating and video games.

Being more creative than sporty growing up, it wasn’t until her brother gifted her a skateboard in her early twenties, that Katherine really gave it a go. “It’s an adrenaline rush, I just enjoy it – and that’s coming from someone who’s really bad at it.”


Tiffany got a bicycle for Christmas when she was in her late twenties, just after she moved to Melbourne from Taiwan. Now she loves cycling and the access it’s given her to “tucked away places” in her new city and feels passionate about encouraging more Asian women to be active.

Cycling has also plugged her into the local community: “You don’t have to know each other – you just feel it.”


It wasn’t until after Karen lost her leg at age 17 that she discovered her love of swimming. 

The world underwater became her sanctuary from people staring at her missing leg, and she loves immersing herself: “I don’t just love swimming in the water, I love jumping into it, diving into it, staying underwater…I like pretending I’m in another world.”

Now when people look at Karen in the water, they’re not focussed on her missing leg.

Listen to Karen’s episode of the This Girl Can podcast