Meet the Girls – This Girl Can – Victoria
Amy, 37, loved dancing and basketball as a girl. But as she got older she felt embarrassed exercising. After a health scare, she hit the gym but was so embarrassed she wore tights under baggy tracksuit pants – even in the middle of summer. “Everyone has self-doubt,” she says. “It’s just whether you allow it to grow, which is a choice you make”.
X
Angela, thought she was too uncoordinated to play sport. Until she saw her sister run a marathon, and realised she could too! Last year she started playing football in a women’s team. Angela says she alternates between absolute exhilaration and fear of making a fool of herself, but that’s not going to stop her.
X
At 17, Courtney was diagnosed with epilepsy and told that was the end of contact sport. It felt like a life sentence for the sporty teenager. She reluctantly agreed to play lawn bowls. At first as she was embarrassed by the idea of playing with oldies, but soon got hooked!
Danielle used to enjoy cross-country running, but she’d had kids and life got busy with work and family. Danielle was born with a benign brain tumour and two years ago, had it removed. She decided running was part of her recovery. She was worried she wouldn’t be able to do it, but she used running as a way to take back control in her life.
X
It wasn’t until Deb’s daughter asked her to do a handstand that she realised she couldn’t. Determined to be the best parent she could, Deb wanted to get active and started walking before breakfast. She was initially embarrassed about getting out there and puffing up the hills, but it’s now part of her daily routine.
X
Dinasha, 19, was always told girls don’t play cricket. But she won’t cop that. She’s been playing the sport since she was a girl and believes it doesn’t matter if you’re good or not – it’s about having fun. She reckons juggling her two uni degrees is almost as hard as hitting a six!
X
Emmie, 35 loved her water sports, but as she got older a fear of looking silly got in the way. A friend convinced Emmie to give surfing a go and she immediately loved the challenge. It doesn’t matter if she looks ‘silly’ - even if she stands up for only a second, Emmie feels a real sense of accomplishment.
X
Jaime has always loved soccer, having played since she was ten. But with the birth of her son, her body changed and so did her confidence in her skills. Jaime worried about her “mum belly” jiggling and was scared she couldn’t kick any more. It was harder than she thought, but today she’s reconnected with her favourite game.
X
As a teenager, Janelle had the typical hang ups about her body but was also embarrassed about her prosthetic leg. She wanted her prosthesis to look as real as possible. Two years ago Janelle decided to tackle her hang-ups about having a realistic prosthesis and started running with a blade. It might not look like a leg but she can sure run faster!
X
Jessica, a proud Gunditjmara and Yorta Yorta woman, says running helped her get through a tough time in her life. Growing up in country Victoria, Jessica had played sport, but got caught up as a teenager making the wrong decisions. Then, a friend encouraged her to get active and start running. Now, she’s aiming to get her mob moving too and use running as a tool to heal and stay active.
X
Joys, 41, is a groover and shaker from way back. A professional singer, she’s always been active, but it wasn’t until her marriage broke up that she started boxing. Joys juggles earning a living and solo parenting, and while she used to feel guilty leaving her daughter to go to the gym, she knows it’s important to have some “me time”.
X
Katie, 25, had played netball and touch footy, but never thrown a frisbee. Her boyfriend at the time played, but she didn’t know if she was good enough. She made herself give it a go. Moving from New Zealand, the sport gave her new friends, kept her fit and made her happy. What’s not to love?
Although Lisa, 52, grew up around the ocean, it took her years to build the confidence to surf. She always thought she couldn’t stack up to the blokes or stand on a board – but she can! Lisa’s never had body image issues and reckons “a bikini body is just a body you put in a bikini!”
X
Melinda, 38, was surrounded by football, netball and cricket growing up. But she had no ball skills or confidence. Her self-talk was pretty negative, telling her she couldn’t do it. But at teacher-training, she joined a touch footy team and discovered her groove. Now with two kids, Melinda’s been selected for the women’s state side. Look out!
X
Michelle, 64, says she’s addicted to how exercise makes her feel. It’s helped her transition from a man into a woman. When her hormone treatment began, she put on weight – but despite worrying about what she looked like in swimmers, she hit the pool. And the self-proclaimed “grandma boogie-boarder” was amazed by the support she got.
X
Mimi, 37, loves tennis. She started playing at primary school, but then tennis took a back seat once uni started. After moving to Australia, and having her first child, she was worried about playing again. But she played anyway and immediately felt better. Today, she loves playing tennis with her son and is glad she had the courage to go back.
X
Growing up, Miranda, 40, never liked sport. Her mum even gave her notes to get out of PE. A few years ago, she found a new passion in roller derby, and now she’s totally committed to her team. She cares more about what her “chunky thighs” can do on roller skates than being able to fit into size ten shorts.
X
Neslihan, 34 was always discouraged from playing sport. Because of her vision impairment, Neslihan’s parents feared she’d get hurt. So it wasn’t until she was in her thirties that she began to run. She wasn’t confident and initially started walking, tethered to a friend. Then she became hooked. Neslihan loves the freedom she feels whenever she’s running.
X
Nida, 31, had never even watched a game of Aussie rules before joining a women’s footy team last year. New to Australia, Nida joined a Pakistani women’s football team and never expected the benefits she’s got. Even though the team finished bottom of the ladder, they sang and danced after every game.
X
Sabrin, 20 had always been told she couldn’t play basketball because she’s a girl. But coming from South Sudan, she’d played street ball so her ball skills were very good. For Sabrin, “it was a sport I could play wherever we went and helped me fit in… Who’s to stop me?”
X
Sally has always loved netball and she played regularly until she had kids. At 54, she still plays despite being told she’s “too old”. Before her first session back, she doubted herself so much she changed in and out of her exercise gear twice before finally stepping onto the court! Now Sally aims to keep playing netball the rest of her life.
X
Samantha, 44, had given up on exercise. She’d played netball as a girl but after having two kids it was just too hard. Then, she discovered hockey. She’d never played before and was afraid of letting the team down, but she faced her fears and started training. Today, she’s gotten her groove back loving playing goalie.
X
Sarah, 45, always felt she was judged for having a bigger body. Then, she discovered yoga. It was the first time she’d ever felt comfortable in her own skin. For Sarah, yoga isn’t about the perfect bendy bodies making perfect shapes – it’s about the shape that’s right for your body.
X
When Sindi had her first ballet class at age seven, she felt like “the fat kid”. But she loves to dance and nothing was going to stop her. Now with seven kids and working part-time, she fits in a dance class whenever she can. And today when she feels like she’s not good enough – she just laughs it off.
X
Tina, 54, was cycling for the first time, when she almost gave up. Then several female cyclists zoomed by. It inspired her! Six months later, she’d bought a new bike and started training for a big ride. Despite heckling from dudes about “fat chicks” wearing lycra, Tina chooses to wear lycra no matter what!
X
Name
Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit. Ab sit maxime voluptates harum, et distinctio aliquam quam inventore tempore assumenda, modi praesentium odio fugiat soluta ipsa. Hic aut, optio tempore.