Young female athletes learning from the best


Cricketer Maisy Gibson, Paralympian Kelly Cartwright and Sevens player Dominique du Toit at the Women’s Health WinS speed mentoring night. Pic: Women’s Health

YOU learn from mistakes but sometimes those mistakes can be avoided altogether if others can share what they’ve learned from experience.

That idea was what drove Women’s Health to launch the Women in Sport (WinS) speed mentoring night.

Held for the first time this week, the event brought together elite athletes, media personalities and industry leaders with young female athletes so they could impart their wisdom from having done it before or being experts in their field.

For someone like Sydney Thunder cricketer Maisy Gibson, the chance to speak to people like Mark Beretta, Michelle Bridges, Paralympian Kelly Cartwright or swimming sisters Cate and Bronte Campbell sisters, was too good to pass up.

“I thought it sounded good with the NSW (cricket) team now professional,” Gibson said.

“There is more media coverage; I’m working out how to start my own brand; what I want to stand for in social media and how to deal with media; and also the ups and downs of sport because there’s a lot.

The event allowed youth and experience to come together. Pic: Women’s Health

The event allowed youth and experience to come together. Pic: Women’s HealthSource:Supplied

“I think people who are coming (to the event) have first hand experience … (we’re) hearing from people and what they have done and what got them through.”

The mentors were happy to share what they know and that they could address issues some of the young women may not have even considered.

Cartwright, a lifelong athlete who had her right leg amputated at the age 15 because of cancer, said she had consistent support through her rehabilitation and journey to becoming a Paralympian and hoped she could provide that to the next generation of female athletes.

“If I can help any young athlete, from grassroots to elite it’s such a wonderful opportunity.

I wish something like this was around when I was younger,” she said.

Mentor and Paralympian Kelly Cartwright returned to competing last year after taking time off to have a baby. Pic: Paul Loughnan

Mentor and Paralympian Kelly Cartwright returned to competing last year after taking time off to have a baby. Pic: Paul LoughnanSource:News Corp Australia

“It’s also about supporting them financially out of sport and transitioning out of sport, I know how hard that can be, so if I can give advice to any athletes of my experiences then it’s a wonderful thing.”

Pacific Magazines general manager of health, fashion and beauty Jackie Frank said the decision to rebrand I Support Women in Sport to Women in Sport was so they could be more active in supporting booming women’s sport community.

“We’ve been doing the ISWIS awards for about six, seven years,” Frank said.

“It’s fabulous that we were recognising them, but with more and more women coming in there’s more and more need for support in other ways and that’s why we did it.

“This isn’t going to be a one-off, it’s something we’re going to be rolling out throughout the year. It’s an always-on approach.”