amazing women

#womeninsport…Sara Blicavs under the spotlight

Coffee count today? 3 for me, how about you? I wonder what Sara Blicavs’ is given she is currently in India. What even is their coffee situation (excuse my ignorance!)? Excellent, poor, non existent?!

Sara Blicavs is this week’s #womeninsport’s featured athlete. She popped up on the blog earlier this year for her work with The Unite Project, a project working to help homeless youth, here. And immediate family aside, her face is probably the most seen face in my instagram feed due to our near weekly snaps over the 2016/17 WNBL season 😉 A teammate of Amelia Todhunter, our first #womeninsport athlete, Sara Blicavs is 6ft 2in of seemingly boundless energy, enthusiasm and amazing athleticism. The daughter of two professional basketballers, Sara is blazing a path all the way to the top of Australia’s basketball scene. And I’m so excited she is part of this series.

As mentioned up top, Sara is in India at the moment. Why? She, along with her brand new sis-in-law Steph, were selected to represent Australia, playing for the Opals in the Asian World Cup Qualifier. They’ve drawn Pool B and will face Japan, Korea and The Philippines and need to make the semi’s to qualify for the world cup next year. Sara or I will share links to the games on my facebook page so you can watch or just catch up on results as they progress through the tournament. But here is a link to the official website so you can see all about the team, their opponents, the draw etc etc.

I’ve found this post, of all the #womeninsport posts the most difficult to write for some reason. It is so hard to condense all that is Sara Blicavs and her enthusiasm for everything into a blog post. We only met her last year when we started following the Rangers, and she has been so kind to the kids each and every single time she sees them. Win or lose she has the biggest smile and hug for them (albeit a sweaty hug!) and always poses for a photo with them which they just love.

The other week Alex got fouled off during his basketball tournament game and was devastated and Sara sent him words of encouragement. Cos that’s the kind of girl she is. Ella has either her or Amelia as her iPad screensavers and I love this. I love she looks to them as her heroes, her idols as they are such gorgeous people. She may never reach the heights they have sports wise, but I hope she aspires to their work ethic, their kindness, generosity and humility. These #womeninsport are the women I want my girls to idolise above women who are famous for being famous. They’ve worked hard, they’ve hit massive heights yet they’re still down to earth.

I’ll hand over to her now to answer my questions…

1. Who are you & where do you hail from?

Sara Kirsti Blicavs, Sunbury, Victorian born and raised. Now currently changing between Geelong and South Eastern Suburbs of Melbourne.

Is anyone else suddenly singing Prince Of Bel Air…”In west Philadelphia born and raised, on the playground was where I spent most of my days” or just me?!

2. What is your chosen sport? Who do you play for?

Basketball, although I have always seen my self as a professional Gymnast and an underrated domestic table tennis player.
Dandenong Rangers WNBL and also apart of the Australian Opals squad.
Few of my all time favourite highlights:
– Winning my under 10’s domestic grand final for the Superoos, I remember clearly after scoring a basket I cartwheeled  the whole way down the floor. (So much for running back on transition defense lol)
– Have not lost a game for Vic Metro from U/16 all the way through to U/20 (Great bunch of girls, very similar team each year)
– Receiving an AIS scholarship when I was 16. The best 2 and a half years of my life, so very fortunate.
– Winning a WNBL championship with Bendigo Spirit 13/14
This is possibly my favourite answer ever given for this or any interview!!!!! Maybe she should have put comedian in there as well 😉

3. What is your ‘normal’ week like? Training, playing/competing?

A usual week for me involves a lot of coffee, eating out and socializing (A lot of fun being a professional athlete)
On top of that, it also involves a lot of training, recovery, physio, body soreness and showers.
– 3 Team trainings
– 2/3 weights sessions
– 1/2 Runs (depending on mood, motivation levels and if I’m hungry or not)
– 2 Individual sessions with a coach
– 2 individual shooting sessions
*I’m hungry just reading that!

4. Do you have a job outside of your sport? And why?

I’m fortunate enough to be strictly a professional basketball player. Although it can take a toll mentally so this year I decided to get a little side job working at Mind Body Salt in Geelong. Only 2 half days a week but its nice to challenge myself in other aspects of life. Its also nice to be on a different schedule and I guess see what the ‘real world’ is like. I’m thoroughly enjoying it and the staff are fantastic humans. Still allowing me times to train, leave the country or get my 3rd coffee for the day.
5. What changes would you like to see take place for #womeninsport & your sport in particular to level up the playing field between men & women? So that you could “just be” a professional athlete without needing another job. 

Its tough as it really comes down to viewers, spectators, sponsors! Luckily the WNBL are on TV this year so now its all about promoting the sport and each individual athlete as we really are phenomenal women.
We’ve had many a discussion about the lack of spectators at WNBL, the Rangers in particular. For a team that enjoys such success year after year, their crowd numbers are abysmally poor. I just don’t get it. These women are literally world class athletes, they compete for Australia, yet nobody goes to watch them and support them at a more local level (if the national league can be called local). Why is that? We enjoy their World Cup and Olympic successes and will watch them on that stage, yet why not pop to Dandy or Geelong where Sara has been playing SEABL to support? Imagine if every single one of you who reads this went to even one game of the SEABL or WNBL season with your family and maybe took another family along with you? And the best part is, these girls actually will chat to you post game, they will sign your ball, your jumper, your poster, they will pose for a pic and have a chat. Your kids can go to school and tell their classmates how they met an actual athlete who plays for Australia. Who has just returned from India where they competed on a world stage. Like that is amazing is it not? We move heaven and earth to get tickets to Bieber and Katy Perry for our kids, yet we don’t take them to see professional athletes down the road for minimal dollars and effort. Rant over….for now!

6. Do you have sponsors you would like to give a shoutout to?

Festool for trusting me with their tools and letting me play around in their workshop and build chopping boards all the time.

7. What does life outside of your sport involve? Hobbies, passions etc?

Most spare time I will be at the beach. I love trying to surf, I love being in the water, no matter how cold, I love walks, adventures and discovering untouched beauty in the world.
Music is my outlet, I could spend hours zoning out listening to music, finding new music, scrummaging Youtube etc.
Drawing is something I really enjoy, but its not all the time. But when I find something I want to draw, you wont hear me speak until its done.

8. Tea or coffee? *this is super important!

COFFEE AND TEA, as much as I rave on about coffee, I will still drink tea everyday.

9. Where can we see you play/compete next?

Geelong Supercats during winter, Dandenong Rangers over Summer. Street ball on my instagram account (watch me cross my brothers left, right and center haha)

Her brothers Mark and Kris are somewhat athletic too 😉 Mark playing footy for Geelong Cats and Kris playing basketball for Geelong Supercats. Kris recently wed Sara’s Rangers & Opals teammate Stephanie Cumming so the entire family are just amazingly athletic!

10. What does the rest of 2017 look like for you?

Off to Phoenix, Arizona for an Australian camp this week, then if all goes well and I’m lucky enough to make the Asian qualifying team then we are off to India late July to compete. *obvs Sara filled this in earlier this month as she defs made the team and is in India with first game this Sunday!

Other than that, finishing off the Geelong Supercats season with, hopefully, a Championship under our belts. Then off to sweat it out in the heat during summer for Dandenong. *where both she and I expect to see every single one of you supporting!

11. if you have social media links for your club or your self so people can follow please include them here

@SaraBlicavs – twitter

@sarablicavs – Instagram
Don’t forget to make sure you’re following Life, Loves and Liz on facebook as I’ve given Sara access and she’s going to be posting from India all the behind the scenes and on court action! Give her some love and support on there please and let her and Steph know the whole LLL community are behind them every bounce of the ball.