fitness

Four ordinary Aussie women doing extraordinary things in sport.

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Thanks to our brand partner, Dairy Australia

If you had to define yourself using just one member of The Spice Girls, who would it be?

Now that Posh Spice – AKA Victoria Beckham – has traded her once-signature frosted lipgloss for acute business success, I will reveal that the ‘Posh Spice’ life chose me. But that hadn’t necessarily been my first choice.

From an early age I came to accept that my Sporty Spice endeavours were let’s just say, less than impressive. But as athleisure wear crept into view (and into my wardrobe) I soon realised that sport belongs to the uber-fit as much as croissants belong solely to the French. If that didn’t make any sense, don’t be alarmed – I mean to say we all enjoy a buttery croissant, no matter our heritage.

"I always thought I was most like Posh Spice." Left: Candice Mehta-Culjak. Image supplied. Right: Victoria Beckham. Image via Getty.

Sure, sport is about fitness and wellbeing - there’s no denying it. But above all it’s about strength, health and freedom. And if you ask me, that’s a pretty impressive set of nouns.

With my interest in sport once again reanimated, I’ve done a little research. And there are a few Aussie women that you should be following on Instagram, if you aren’t already.

Tyler Wright

When I mentioned this article to my husband he said, “You must include Tyler Wright, she’s amazing” - and he had good reason to blurt out his allegiances.

At just 14-years-old, pro surfer Tyler Wright became the youngest person - male or female - to win a major World Surf League event. Fast forward eight years and Wright continues to claim victories and smash performance barriers left, right and centre; proving herself as a dominant and very real competitor.

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And that, my friends, is a win for women everywhere.

Tyler Wright. Image via Facebook.

Lisa De Vanna

Speaking with The Guardian, soccer player Lisa De Vanna admits that she wasn’t necessarily the ideal candidate to co-captain The Matildas for the 2015 edition of the Women’s World Cup, but Alen Stajcic (the coach), saw De Vanna’s immense skill, spirit for the game and passion for her country.

With the help of co-captain Clare Polkinghorne, De Vanna led The Matildas to the quarter-finals in Canada – a feat, mind you, that the men’s side is still yet to accomplish. It was precisely this performance that forced Aussies everywhere to peel their eyes and ears away from the men’s team and finally consider the merits of the women’s game.

In my book that’s one small step for women, one giant leap for women’s soccer.

australian sportswomen

Lisa De Vanna. Image via Getty.

Ellie Cole

Paralympian Ellie Cole is the embodiment of strength and really should sit atop each and every inspiration pinboard in existence. After suffering a life threatening sarcoma cancer at just three years of age, Cole’s right leg was amputated. Refusing to be a victim of her adversity, Cole instead showed an incredible ability to enrich her lot in life. And what she’s achieved is truly incredible.

Since beginning to swim competitively in 2003, Cole has earned two world records and won medals in the likes of the Commonwealth Games, the Paralympic Games and the IPC Swimming World Championships - just to mention a few, there isn’t time to mention all of her achievements.

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This year will see Cole defend her Paralympic titles in the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games and we wish her the very best of luck.

australian sportswomen

Ellie Cole. Image via Getty.

Anna Flanagan

Hockey player Anna Flanagan - ‘Flanno’ to those in the know - is one of those annoyingly-brilliant people who are seemingly good at everything. In 2012, Flanagan played for the Australian Hockeyroos in the 2012 London Olympics.

Placing fifth, Flanagan described the outcome as “heart-breaking,” but a clear motivator. Flanagan, now 23, is once again training with the Hockeyroos team ahead of the Rio 2016 Olympics, in the hopes of taking the podium on her second attempt.

But here comes the annoyingly-brilliant part - throughout her stellar and no doubt excruciatingly busy career, Flanagan hit the books and gained a degree in journalism, a postgraduate diploma in legal studies, and a Certificate three and four in fitness.

Anna Flanagan. Image via Instagram.

Speaking with the Daily Mail Australia Flanagan said, “We do want young girls playing sport and being involved in such an inclusive and healthy environment so I hope that with strong female role models we are able to do that.”

Preach it, Flanno. We’re listening.

Who are some other sportswomen doing incredible things?

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