lifestyle

6 Aussie sports stars you need to know now.

La Trobe University
Thanks to our brand partner, La Trobe University

Need a little exercise inspo? These inspiring women will kick you out of bed in the morning.

Sure, Sally Pearson and Torah Bright are household names – but there are a host of other female sports stars who are also among the world’s best.

These women are making a splash on the sporting circuit and the one thing they have in common? They are do-ers and go-getters – they make their dreams a reality.

So here are six Aussie sports stars who have flown under the radar, but deserve to be celebrated for their spectacular performances and their inspiring attitude.

1. Amanda Paulin, track and field athlete.

australian sports stars
Amanda Paulin. Image: Athletics Exclusive.

Amanda Paulin is an elite distance track and field athlete who is ALSO doing Post Grad Law at La Trobe Uni (you know, in her spare time).

“Track and field runs (pun intended) in my family. From a young age I was taken to all kinds of athletics meets to watch my dad run and I couldn’t wait to get onto the track myself one day,” Amanda told Mamamia.

“The way I balance my studies and athletic career is really important to me because any time one activity becomes all-encompassing I tend to find it more stressful and less enjoyable. Even if some experiences don’t meet your expectations it’s just as valuable knowing what doesn’t work for you, as knowing what does.”

2. Alex Blackwell, cricketer.

australian sports stars
Alex Blackwell. Image: Getty.
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Alex Blackwell is the gem of the Australian cricketing world. Born in Wagga Wagga, the 31-year-old specialist batsman has played for Australia since 2002 and captained Australia for the 2010 Rose Bowl series.

She came out as a lesbian in 2013, making her the second international player to do so during their playing career. Blackwell has just been named as one of Australia’s touring party for the 2015 Women’s Ashes in England.

3. Jessica Fox, canoeist.

australian sports stars
Jessica Fox. Image: Getty.

French-born slalom canoeist Jessica Fox made her Australian Olympic debut during the 2012 London Olympics at the age of 18, where she won a silver medal in the K-1 Event.

The 21-year-old has canoeing in her blood: her parents Richard and Myriam are both Olympic canoeists, with her mother winning a bronze medal for France in 2006. Fox is currently balancing her athletic career with a degree in media and communications and the University of Sydney.

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4. Hannah MacDougall, swimmer and cyclist.

australian sports stars
Hannah MacDougall. Image: Getty.

In 2002, Hannah MacDougall broke the world record for 50m women’s backstroke. In 2004, she won bronze at the 2004 Athens Paralympics in the women’s 4x100m medley – oh, and she was born without a right foot and fibula.

“Participating in sport has been an extremely empowering experience for me; it has allowed me to increase my confidence, strengthen my social support networks, and provided meaning to my life,” the Paralympian told Access for all Abilities.

This year, MacDougall is completing her PhD in sport management at La Trobe University and has changed paths from swimming to cycling. She is hoping to compete in the 2016 summer Paralympics.

5. Laura Geitz, netball player.

australian sports stars
Laura Geitz. Image: Getty.
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Okay, so you probably have heard of Laura Geitz. But there’s a good reason. She’s capped 32 test games for Australia and was honoured with the Liz Ellis Diamond Award in 2011.

The 27-year-old was selected for the Australian National team in 2008 and helped champion her team to victory as captain at the 2014 Commonwealth games, ending the 12-year Commonwealth Games gold medal drought. In her spare (!) time, Geitz has also developed and launched her own range of sports gear and exercise equipment.

6. Mirinda Carfrae, triathlete.

australian sports stars
Mirinda Carfrae. Image: Getty.

Mirinda Carfrae excels at winning. So much so that she has received podium positions in every single ironman world championship that she’s entered (that’s SIX world championship medals: three gold, two silver and one bronze).

The 34-year-old current world champion and world record holder is a professional triathlete, who began representing Australia at 19 after only a year of training. She told active.com, “It’s important to keep your eye on the end goal but to have small goals along the way.”

Which female sports stars do you admire the most?

Here are a few more sporting stars should you need some more inspo (unlikely):


Want more? Try these:

What I need to say to the columnist who said women’s sport is ‘inferior and boring.’

Hey, Sportsbet: Female athletes are not your eyecandy.