Main sport/activity: Mountain biking and Pilates
After arriving in Australia from South Africa in 1992, Kirsty was introduced to mountain bike riding by friends. This began a lifelong passion which helped see her through some great personal challenges.
After suffering serious illness and losing her ability to ride, Kirsty was determined to overcome her health challenges and get back on the bike. It was this drive and the want to connect with other like-minded women when she moved to Melbourne that led her to start up free, introduction to mountain biking sessions for women at Lysterfield Lake.
She is passionate about offering women the opportunity to get out there and give it a go, to experience something they may not otherwise do and to make friends along the way.
Kirsty, who also runs her own Pilates studio, said being active isn’t just about the physical aspect or being the best.
“It offers so many benefits to a woman’s health and wellbeing, mental and emotional, friendship, joy, happiness and who knows … maybe even the discovery of new passions and places.”
Her advice, “Don’t let fear stop you from stepping out of your comfort zone and trying something new and maybe a little scary. You might be pleasantly surprised at just how great it is, how strong you are and how much you actually love it!”
Main sport/activity: Football and swimming
Mobaraka is a full-time secondary student and also studies part-time at Federation University.
Outside of her studies she is a youth leader for South East Community Links, where she develops and shares her passion for community and getting girls active.
She is a keen footballer and swimmer herself, and also manages a Narre Warren girls football team and works with young women and their families to show them the benefits of women and girls being active.
“Being a youth leader and a girls soccer manager is just amazing, I enjoy doing it and I do not mind because at the end of the day I learn something new and I help others who need a help.”
Her advice, “Get involved in the activities the community provides, to make new friends and it helps with your health and mind, breaks the gender inequality and empower other women around you.”
Main sport/activity: Cycling and walking
Lianne, who is a proud mother and grandmother, has always exercised in some way on most days since she was a child. She does not feel she excels at anything but knows she needs to keep her body moving and that she’s a happier person for it.
Lianne's love of riding a bike was rekindled whilst she was living overseas. Needing a family activity, she put aside her fears and lack of confidence so that they could as a family take up monthly mountain biking – and she hasn’t stopped riding since.
When moving back to Australia, she also wanted two hours a week for her where she was not a mother or a wife just a woman riding but she found it hard to find like-minded women to share the joy of riding with. She decided she was going to make this happen and overcame her own fears and perceptions of road riding to volunteer her time to run free Breeze Rides for women in Casey.
“I wanted other local women to be able to experience the sense of freedom, that comes with bike riding. It can be such a social avenue, it’s a low impact fitness option, a mode of transport, a family activity and a great stress release.”
Her advice: “How will you know what your good at, what you enjoy, what your passions in life will be, if you don’t try things out? Nothing ventured nothing gained!”
Your main sport/activity: Tennis and coach
Allison is a high-performance tennis coach at Berwick Tennis Club and a mum.
She has always loved tennis since playing as a junior. When the opportunity came up to take a coaching course, her passion in turn became her profession.
Her involvement in tennis has led her to experience many opportunities and develop as a player, coach and person.
From volunteering as the secretary and treasurer at the age of 18 for Region 11 tennis, to managing tournaments, being a state selector for Tennis Victoria and receiving Life Memberships at two tennis clubs for her ongoing contribution, Allison has dedicated much of her life to the sport.
Allison's real enjoyment comes from being on the court and coaching, whether the player is three or 70; she loves to see people learn, improve and just enjoy the sport she loves. She believes it is important to have women playing, coaching and umpiring sport so that women and girls know this is something they can do.
Her advice, “Just do it now, make new friends and it can lead to opportunities you never imagined.”
Main sport/activity: Football (soccer)
Dawn is single mum of five, two of whom have disabilities, and President of Casey Comets Football Club.
As with many parents, she got involved with volunteering at the soccer club when her middle son started to live and breathe football.
As she got more involved with the club, she said she came to a realisation the football is overlooked in Australia, with a gap in developing juniors and ultimately producing top quality players.
She also loved the idea that girls can play top quality football and was blown away and very slightly envious of their commitment to playing at a high level. With many girls at that club having played at state and national level, she felt like it was recognised or celebrated enough.
She decided to take on the role President role in October 2016, and has been passionate about promoting the sport, introducing the sport and advocating for the sport – particularly for women and girls and increasing their profile.
Her advice, “Just go for it – you can and will make a difference.”
Main sport/activity: AFLW