Happy Hump Day! Please grab a coffee (or tea), sit down and get into this first post in a new mini series of mine, #womeninsport…shining the light on…? This topic is something I’m extremely passionate about but I will try to stay off my soapbox as much as possible and just stick to my main aim, highlighting amazing female athletes. I’ve been lucky enough to meet and befriend several women who are at the top of their game, so to speak. Women who play sport professionally, but not always as a career, because you know- women just don’t get paid what their male counterparts do *insert red, angry face. Moving on. I contacted a few, asking them to participate in this series in the hope that you, my baben readers, will read their story and think to yourselves “wow, she’s really rad. I would love to go and watch her and show my children, partner, friends, acquaintances just how rad she is”. Cos you know, bums on seats and public attention gets the sponsors, and sponsors means money for these women. Women who, if male, could be playing their sport and not having to also work another job to pay the bills.#genderinequality There is more to these superstars, these #womeninsport, though so read on as they truly shine on and off the court/field/road/pool etc.
Question, when was the last time you went and watched women play sport? And I’m not talking about U10/s basketball on a Saturday morning or your girlfriends playing local footy on a Saturday arvo (although they’re both very rad!). I’m talking women playing top level, aka professionally, in their chosen sport. When Michelle Payne won the Melbourne Cup in 2015, the #womeninsport hashtag and movement within Australia really started gaining momentum. And once the AFL announced their Women’s League the year after, #womeninsport became a real thing…like it wasn’t before :-/ But women playing sport finally started gaining a small amount of the recognition and media attention they deserved. Still they need more and it’s up to us to help.
Last year we went to our very first WNBL game to watch the Dandenong Rangers. That game was such an eye opener for me in so many ways. If you’ve been following me for a while, especially on facebook or instagram, you will know how much we as a family love this team and it’s players and coach. We fell in love that first game with WNBL, loving the skill, the passion, the atmosphere and all that encompasses the league. Having never watched ANY basketball beyond the kid’s U8’s on the weekends and the NBA on tv, watching these girls play was just amazing for me. Not even being able to catch myself, I literally have zero hand/eye coordination, I was full of admiration and once we got to know a few of the players, the admiration grew.
Naturally, I had to kick off this series with one of our faves from the team. She is a favourite of not just ours but of nearly every other family who we have dragged along (and who have subsequently loved the game) to watch the Rangers play. And she is heading to France to represent Australia in the FIBA 3×3 World Championships this week. She may even do some posting from France so we can see how they are going! She is Amelia Todhunter, the first athlete in my #womeninsport series.
Who are you & where do you hail from?
Amelia Todhunter from Albury NSW
3. What is your ‘normal’ week like? Training, playing/competing?
- Increased sponsorship so players are able to be paid adequate amount in order to survive as a female full time athlete. (who wants to sponsor a player? You totally can!)
- Increased crowds and support at the games. Women’s basketball is very underrated and I have been told on numerous occasions that once you see one game you will want to watch them all. (very true, just ask me!)
- Another aspect that is different is the times trainings are held. As a lot of us have to have part time or full time jobs we either train very early in the mornings or after 5.30pm at night. This takes away a lot of time we get to have to spend with family and loved ones. As males in basketball train at times during the day they have time to come home and spend some quality time with family and friends.
6. Do you have sponsors you would like to give a shoutout to?
I would like to thank my personal sponsor Nik Diakos from DC Partners. Thank you for all your support not just to myself but also the team and club.
👀 🐶 #bigbrowneyes #cavlife #cavaliersofinstagram #cavsofinstagram #dogsofinstagram #petsofinstagram #doglovers #featuremycav #kingcharlescavalier #kinglouie #louie #animallover #dog #itsadogslife #cavi #kingcharlescavalier #ckcs #odefix #cutedogtherapy #dogs_of_instagram #cavalierkingdom #kingsraw #itsacavthing #petsvips #sleepydog_feature #dogsandpals #puffwithus #namsanpet @cutedogtherapy #hankandhound #cavaliersofficial
8. Tea or coffee? *this is super important!
I will be playing with the Dandenong Rangers for the 2017/18 WNBL season and I can’t wait. It’s going to be a very strong competition this year with lots of Aussie Opal women coming back from Europe to play.
10. What does the rest of 2017 look like for you?
- I am off to France on Thursday to represent Australia in the 3×3 tournament. I will stay an extra week with my partner and drive around the South West coast. You can read more here. Unfortunately being in France, you’re going to have to set your alarms to wake up and watch but the girls will love it if you do! Watch here.
- I will be back playing with the Rangers when I return from France and hopefully win another grand final with my wonderful team mates.
- Start a new full time job and prepare for the upcoming WNBL season.
You can follow Amelia here:
Thank you so so much Amelia for taking the time to answer my dodgy, non-journalistic questions! I hope you have the best time playing in France and can’t wait to see your posts and pics and set my alarm for some gosh awful time so we can watch you 🙂
Now the onus is on you, my uber lovely reader. I expect to see you and yours at a Rangers game in the future! Contact me and we will totes meet up there and cheer super loudly together. Afterall, if we want our daughters to have the same opportunity to play sport professionally as we want for our sons, the responsibility lies with us. Only WE have to power to support these #womeninsport who play, by turning up week after week as we do for the AFL, NBL, Cricket etc, putting our butts on the stadium seats, shouting their worth to all whom will listen and in turn also come and watch. Because if we do that, create a following and noise, the media will pay attention and in turn so will the big corporations with the big dollars. That said, even as an individual or small business, you have the ability to change the lives of these WNBL players by sponsoring them individually or sponsoring the club.
Thanks as always for reading my words, and those from Amelia. Please share this post so more babes can read it and we can really get #womeninsport trending from our grassroots level!
header image credit: Michelle Couling Photography