Beating a professional athlete in a collection of skill-based challenges was at all times going to be robust, however after I realise I am going up towards sporting prodigy Ellyse Perry, I see nothing however failure – with a aspect of public humiliation – in my quick future. If her present title of Women’s Cricketer of the Year wasn’t sufficient to psych me out, the actual fact she’s the one Aussie to have represented her nation within the World Cup for each cricket and soccer actually is, and figuring out she’s achieved all of this (and extra) by the age of 27 has me virtually shaking in my sneakers.
As we face off in a playground outdoors the Sydney Cricket Ground, I pray that the 4 hours of circus coaching I did in highschool drama can assist me peg her in our first battle, juggling. But these hopes quickly deflate when Ellyse catches all of her rainbow-coloured balls, and as my balls tumble defiantly to the bottom, I ask her if she at all times knew she’d be a world champ.
“I never really planned to play for Australia and have personal success. It’s just been a really awesome by-product of loving sport and I feel very fortunate to be in the position I’m in,” she says. “When I was a kid, my family always spent time after school down at the local park, so I’ve always just played for the enjoyment of it. It wasn’t until I was selected for Australia’s national team that I realised I could play cricket professionally, and that happened pretty unexpectedly.”
Adam MacDougall talks health with cricketer and footballer Ellyse Perry.
What made her invitation to play for the Southern Stars so surprising wasn’t the truth that Ellyse was solely 16 on the time (making her the youngest ever Aussie to play senior worldwide cricket), it was that she hadn’t but competed at state degree.
Three months later, although, she lastly made her debut for the NSW Breakers, and since then, she’s helped Australia reclaim the Women’s Ashes from England and captained the Sydney Sixers to league victory.
NO REST FOR THE GIFTED
Ellyse’s bio could learn like a sporting fairytale, however watching her smash out chin-ups as I dangle from the bar like a limp noodle, 1 factor turns into clear: Being the perfect takes arduous work.
“My week looks different depending on our schedule, but I train most days. I never really count the hours, but it’s similar to a full-time job,” she says. “Our [national team] training consists of three components: skill work – so batting, bowling and fielding; the physical stuff, like weights and running; and then all the tactical preparation, which is looking at footage and discussing in groups how we want to play a game.” When I ask Ellyse what a simple day is and she or he replies, “an hour of Pilates and then swimming”, I’m curious to know if she ever will get drained. “Nah,” she says, laughing, as we arrange for a spherical of kick-ups. “I love being physically active, so to be able to do that every day is a real pleasure, and any small sacrifice I might have made has been repaid at least tenfold through the experiences I’ve had in sport.” One of these sacrifices contains residing other than her husband, fellow athlete Matt Toouma, 28, whereas he performs rugby for the Leicester Tigers within the UK, however to Ellyse, all of it comes with the territory.
“I think Matt and I have the attitude that this is a finite opportunity, and you never know what’s going to happen with sport so we just see where things take us,” she says. “I miss various social events on occasion, and the hardest ones are those with family and friends, but it’s hard to feel aggrieved by that because of the experiences I’ve gained.” By now, 2 issues have gotten clear: 1) I’m allergic to soccer balls and hula hoops, and a pair of) Ellyse’s most defining high quality is gratitude. She’s grateful she has the prospect to play sport full-time (which merely wasn’t financially attainable for girls when she began 11 years in the past), and she or he needs to offer again.
“I know how much sport has given to my life and how much enjoyment it brings, and I think every girl and boy should have the opportunity to do what they want to do,” she says. “As a team, [the Southern Stars] want to play a style of game that people love to watch, and do the right thing by the community and leave the game in a better place.”
PAVING THE ROAD FOR FUTURE STARS
It’s this ardour for the sport, its gamers and its followers that led Ellyse to companion with the Commonwealth Bank, which is a serious supporter of ladies’s cricket, and collectively, they hope to pave the best way for a brighter future within the sport.
“CommBank has invested a huge amount of money into cricket, but I think what’s really important is its investment into grassroots programs, so that kids have the opportunity to take up the sport and fall in love with it,” she explains.
Even higher, the help additionally offers youngsters with extra feminine function fashions, and that, she says, is extremely vital.
“There are so many sports out there and kids could be interested in any one of them, so it’s nice for them to be able to pick a sport and look up to someone.” Without a doubt, a kind of ‘someones’ is Ellyse herself, and as we gear up for our last problem – a sack race – I ask her what it’s prefer to be a sporting icon within the eyes of so many.
“It’s at all times beautiful to really feel that what you’re capable of do is loved by others.
Over the previous couple of years, each time we end a sport, there are at all times youngsters round who need to discuss to us no matter how we’ve performed. They’re stoked to be there, and that at all times places issues in perspective,” she says. “The real heart of sport is at a local level, and the privilege to be paid to play is really cool.” As for the way lengthy Ellyse plans to maintain taking part in, nicely, that’s one thing she hasn’t actually thought of. Both she and Matt know that sport doesn’t final ceaselessly, however for now, she’s focussing on the current.
“We’d both love to make the most of sport before we do other things in life,” she explains. “I think when you stop being motivated to get better, it’s time to hang things up, but I’ve still got it in me at the moment and I enjoy the challenge.” It’s then that I realise I’m about to beat Ellyse in a sack race. I can’t consider it’s occurring, however after I leap throughout the end line first, I let loose a large cheer and ungraciously carry my arms in victory. As she laughs and says “Well done”, I feel this will likely be my best legacy. When I ask what she hopes hers will likely be, Ellyse replies, “To have a generation of girls want to take up sport because of our team.” And in that second, I do know for positive that Ellyse Perry simply let me win.
HOW WOMEN’S CRICKET IS LEADING THE WAY
It may need taken some time, however the Australian Women’s Cricket Team is lastly claiming its place within the highlight. Case in level: The inaugural day-night Women’s Ashes Test final November, which attracted a few of the largest crowds in ladies’s cricket historical past. Sponsored by the Commonwealth Bank – which has backed ladies’s cricket for the previous 18 years – it drew greater than 12,000 spectators. An additional 230,000 folks watched the dwell and high-definition broadcast on-line. If you didn’t catch the sport, don’t sweat it.
In an effort to offer the general public what they need – that’s, extra feminine sports activities stars on our screens – the financial institution has pledged to spend $15 million on bettering range in cricket, which incorporates its sponsorship of the nationwide ladies’s group in addition to quite a few grassroots applications, plus its co-funding of the Growing Cricket for Girls Fund. And with extra firms cottoning on to the facility of feminine athletes, we’re tipping that ladies’s cricket will solely get greater. We can’t wait to look at it occur!
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