It is a true Melbourne day for #womeninsport day here in Melbs. We’ve had sun, rain, sun, rain, repeat and it’s barely noon as I put this post together. The gorgeous Kelly Hetherington who is being featured this week is currently on the other side of the world, doing park runs in the UK, watching Le Tour in France and actually enjoying sunshiney weather however. I’m so jealous. One look at her instagram account has me all green eyed and wanting to be there too…maybe minus all the training she is doing though!
This series, which I really hope you’re loving reading as much as I am writing it with all these women, has me asking a big question today. When did society make the shift from idolising local sports stars to being more interested in what social media “celebs” are up to? I see this when our own kids would rather be watching YouTube videos of Disney stars than watching the Opals playing in the Asia World Cup on TV or wanting to go to watch the Blues SEABL teams play on the weekends. I see this when there are no crowds at WNBL games despite these girls playing in the second highest ranked league in the world. And our #womeninsport feature lady today poses the same question. If there is no crowd or interest in sport, is it any wonder there is no media coverage, sponsorships or money…
A quick google of Kelly Hetherington tells you she is an Australian middle distance runner with a love for pizza on treat days (via Sporteluxe here) and a strong positive mindset (via Vice Sports here). Her insta bio (which we all know is a 150 character summation of someones life) gives us this:
Aussie Middle Distance Runner 🏃♀️||Nike Athlete || Nike+ Run Club Coach || Sport and Exercise Scientist || Coffee addict.
So whilst we won’t be out running together any time ever, we do have something in common. We can most definitely bond over our mutual addiction to caffeine!
What google and insta don’t say though is that Kelly is an extremely generous and lovely lady who despite never having met me, said yes to being a part of this series straight away. Thank you Kelly! I am loving reading everyones stories, their thoughts and marveling at just how much they do. It is amazing.
Kelly has been out of the racing circuit for a few years due to illness, but 2017 sees her back into training with a change of scenery and a brand new fiancee! Congratulations Kelly and Luke!!!
They make a good case for training with your partner don’t they? The couple that run together stays together…although Tom would leave me in his dust so we will need to find a different activity where he can’t get away from me 😉 pump mebbe?!!!
Over to Kelly…
- Who are you & where do you hail from?
Hi everyone, I am 28 year old Kelly Hetherington. I am a Melbourne based girl currently living in London.
- What is your chosen sport? A brief career highlights reel if you please!
Athletics is my favourite sport-specialising in the 800 m, I know what an event to pick! When competing my local club is Glenhuntly (Go Hunters). I have represented the “Green and Gold” several times as a senior athlete, in the 2013 World Athletics Championships (Moscow), selected for the 2014 Commonwealth Games (Glasgow), 2015 World Relay Championships (Bahamas) and 2011 World University Championships (China).
- Running in the World Championships in 2013
- Winning the Australian National Championships in 2013 and silver in 2011
- Winning Bronze at the World Relay Championships
- What is your ‘normal’ week like? Training, playing/competing?
At the moment I am just getting back into training after a few years off due to sickness. My normal week now when returning to training looks like:
-3 tough training sessions (Speed, longer reps and tempo session)-Generally all sessions are done with my training group so its tough but good fun chatting in the warm up/cool down
-2 easy days of “recovery” jogging (10km-12km) – Doesn’t sound like a recovery but it is relaxed and gives me the chance to listen to the Spice girls and 2000s RNB with no judgement.
-1 longer run (13km-16km) – Always done with my partner Luke
-1 Pilates session and 1-2 weights sessions – weights and I have a love/hate relationship-probably what I am the worst at.
This was a bit tough and required a good amount of planning when I was working full time in Melbourne. It just meant I learnt to not procrastinate (as much) and use my time more efficiently.
The more of these posts I do, the more I realise A.how lazy I am and B.how committed you must be to be an athlete at the top of your game especially when you need to work as well. Best have a sit down after reading all that, I’m tired for her!
- Do you have a job outside of your sport? And why?
I was working full time before moving to London but now I am working around 25 hours while I settle in. I found even when I was a professional athlete I always enjoyed working. For me it has always a chance to “switch off” in regard to running and be in “the real world” as I like to call it. I found when I wasn’t working, due to competing in Europe/America I would spend 90% of my time thinking about running which personally, really wasn’t the healthiest thing for me to do. It is also really important to a distraction when injuries/sickness occur, which in sport in bound to happen at one stage.
Running isn’t a high paid career and it requires you to travel to compete for around 3-4 months every year so it isn’t a cheap sport. I worked to help pay for the travel, living costs, treatments etc whilst I am away.
- What changes would you like to see take place for #womeninsport?
In our sport we are pretty lucky in terms of equality for women and men. There is no prize money discrepancy between sexes so that is a great thing. I believe we still need to shine A LOT more light on females in Track and Field. We have some really special ladies doing awesome things but there just isn’t enough coverage in Athletics to highlight them. We have super mums such as Eloise Welling’s and Lisa Weightman who are running for Australia at the highest level, whilst being incredible mums. I would love to see the Australian public renew the excitement and love for athletics and not just in a Commonwealth Games/Olympic year. I know it is so easy to say but really hard to do. When I was growing up I remember going to Track meets and lining up for hours with my autograph book, to get signatures and say hi to my favourite athletes. That is just not happening anymore. Athletics is trying, we had the new “Nitro Series” which was awesome at show casing our athletes, we just need that more often. It would be awesome to have more funding and payment to our athletes, like other sports, to allow our athletes to be the very best they can.
This is what I was referring to earlier in the post…your kids may not be into track but whatever sport they are into, we need to be going to meets/matches/games of all levels to support those taking part and making sport “big” again.
- Do you have sponsors you would like to give a shoutout to?
I have been sponsored by Sandringham Sports Physio for many, many years now. I am so lucky to have a company that truly believes in me and supports me 100%. When running professionally I was also sponsored by Nike who were great!
Has anyone else noticed what amazing abs runners have? Perhaps I should get my knee fixed and take up running again?! Although given every day is treat day for me, I will probs struggle a bit obtaining this result no matter how much running I do 😉
- What does life outside of your sport involve? Hobbies, passions etc?
I am the biggest sunshine chaser you will meet. I love getting away for a weekend down the beach or after the season going away on a beach holiday with my partner Luke. I LOVE food and I am always trying new cafes with my girlfriends. I am a very big family girl and love catching up with the family and being “crazy Aunty Kel” to my nephew Huddy. Pretty much I love family, friends, eating, sunshine and coffee.
Kelly with her sister & nephew…how cute is he?!
- Tea or coffee? *this is super important!
Ha ha Coffee!!!! Without my daily skinny Latte (with a sweetener) I can tend to be a bit grumpy. I am not the biggest tea fan butttt will have a green tea every now and then if I’ve exceeded up caffeine consumption for the day.
- Where can we see you compete next?
I am hoping to get back into training and racing this year to try and get back in the green and gold in the future.
- What does the rest of 2017 look like for you?
2017 will be all about rebuilding and changes. I have just moved to London for Luke’s work so will embracing the change in scenery and structure. I had to take a lot of time off my running over the past 2 years so I don’t expect anything too big for 2017 , instead I will be celebrating the small wins. What quote I love is “Every setback is a set up for a comeback. “
- where can we find you on social media to keep up with your running?
insta: @kellyhetherington (My favourite social media tool)
Kelly has a great feed, check it out for massive running & abs inspo 😉 with many a sweet pic of her and Luke and their adventures!
If you have never seen Kelly in action before, check out this vid or search YouTube for some more…
A huge thanks to Kelly for taking part and being a rad #womeninsport. We look forward to watching you get back onto the racing circuit and cheering you on in races soon! In the meantime babes, how’s about heading to a local track and field meet with the kiddies to check out some awesome athletes in action? Ella wants to take up Little Aths this summer so we will definitely be getting into some track and field action with her, of the observing variety for me anyways! Tom can run and jump and do whatever on the track 😉 What track and field event were you best at in school? I can’t say any of them were my forte but if anything, I did sorta like cross country!
Don’t forget to, if you haven’t been watching already, Fox Sports Australia has been showing the Asia World Cup in which Sara Blicavs (our #womeninsport feature from last week) is playing. Channel 503. The Opals have won all 3 games so far so have moved into the finals. They play D.P.R. Korea tomorrow 5.45pm our time. If you don’t have Foxtel but want to watch, bring your chips and dip over to mine. We will have it on fo shiz! GOOOOOOO OPALS!!!!