What does International Women’s Day mean to you?
A chance to stop and reflect on what has been achieved by the many who built the path to where we are today. The suffragettes, the rebels, the pioneers, the countless movements by unknown women who fought for conditions and opportunities that they would never benefit from. For me I reserve IWD as a day to show gratitude for the ceilings broken, the doors opened and to assess my own efforts and actions in lifting the next generation up.
Catherine Clarke – Queensland Firebirds CEO
International women’s day means celebrating all the incredible women that have come before, are here now, and will come after us. It’s a day to celebrate all the progress women have made over the years to be in a position where young girls have a number of different women from different backgrounds and in different fields to look up to.
Maddy Proud – NSW Swifts/Australian Diamonds squad member
It’s starting conversations around where we want to go as a gender, and about celebrating how far we’ve come – our achievements in the workplace and in the home. There’s a lot of work involved in raising children that are also good people. It’s very easy to sit there and criticise the things that could be done differently – and there are a lot of them – but a lot has changed. We can’t forget about that and the people in our lives and in society who have paved the way for change and had a strong impact on our lives.
Natalie Medhurst – former Australian Diamond
International Women’s Day to me is a ‘feel good’ day. I love scrolling through social media and seeing different women supporting and empowering other women for big and small accomplishments. I feel in general we are improving as a gender each year with our ability to accept compliments, but seeing how many women are getting recognised for things that other’s appreciate is incredible.
Gia Abernethy – Strathclyde Sirens
It’s such a beautiful, wonderful day celebrating women all over the world, but it must be an everyday celebration! It makes me proud to be a woman and what I have achieved! It’s a remarkable statement in raising awareness about women equality “
Shadine van der Merwe – Adelaide Thunderbirds/SPAR Proteas
What are your hopes for the future?
My hope for women in the future is that we can finally take the space we truly deserve and not be looked down on. Whatever we decide to do, we are cherished and appreciated for it. Whatever we decide to do, we are supported by the other genders and know that there is no one set thing. If we want to do it all, give us the avenue to do it all and support us.
Vangelee Williams – former Jamaican Sunshine Girl
I hope and look forward to the day young girls and women enter a workforce confident and secure in their abilities, aware of their personal power and ultimately respected for who they are and what they are able to achieve.
Tania Obst – Adelaide Thunderbirds coach
My hope for women is that we don’t have to recognise days like these because women are treated equally, celebrated endlessly and remunerated fairly based on their role and not purely their gender.
Megan Anderson – Firebirds coach/Former Australian Diamond
I am a strong believer in celebrating the good. I want women to continue to support women, congratulate each other, praise each other, encourage each other and importantly, be kind to each other. When working within a team, being united is the toughest thing an opposing team can break down. I see no difference when working with one another in society, the more united we are, the better chance we give ourselves for an equal future.
Clare Jones – Celtic Dragons/Wales Netball
My hope is that all women will have the same opportunities, ambitions, rights, and feeling of belonging that everyone in this world deserves. I hope that girls don’t grow up seeing a limit to their dreams, and are constantly pushed to dream bigger and aim higher!
Tara Hinchliffe – Queensland Firebirds
My hope is that women don’t feel ashamed for being proud of what they’re accomplishing. I hope women start loving themselves and their bodies more, and aren’t ashamed to admit they love themselves for fear of being labelled ‘arrogant’. We can help each other by reminding our friends how beautiful they are, and if their first reaction is to deflect a compliment, make a point of saying it’s okay to accept positive affirmations. We’re all beautiful, we just need to start recognising this and believing it.
Gia Abernethy – Strathclyde Sirens
What has challenged you recently?
I think for me the biggest challenge is just ensuring that I am effectively managing my time and effort equally between both my education and my netball, making sure one isn’t getting more attention than the other.
Emma Barrie, Strathclyde Sirens/Scottish Thistles
The biggest challenge, especially for the past 12 months, is living away from my sisters. The team have been exceptional at supporting me living away from home, but given the current circumstances where we can’t catch up as we once used to, not having my sisters with me has been tough. I know they’re at home and really proud of what I’m committing to over here in the UK though, so that always helps knowing they have my back through it all. I’ve learnt to accept help and support when offered to get through tougher weeks, whether it be a call with our performance lifestyle advisor or getting physiotherapy treatment to minimise that extra tension in my body. Both aren’t vital in getting through each week, but it definitely makes it easier.
Gia Abernethy – Strathclyde Sirens
In my early 20’s it didn’t always feel as though sport was taken seriously within various work place (not all!). I felt very lucky when I came across managers who thought me playing netball seriously was an asset to have in the workplace. It’s ironic because often my strengths in the work place come from what sport have taught me. Time management, prioritising, adaptability, problem solving, team working I owe to sport, it has been sad for me when I have felt as though I have to choose, or if by choosing one, the other perceives me as not taking that one serious enough. I have however, been fortunate to have employers who have allowed me to work flexibly, who have been very much invested in my netball career and I have build up the strongest relationships with these employers.
Clare Jones – Celtic Dragons
Being in lockdown and not being able to socialise and have face to face time with people outside of our bubble.
Adean Thomas – London Pulse/Jamaica Sunshine Girls
I think it was adapting to the cold. I was not used to these cold conditions and am not a fan of winter as it is. I remember when I left Australia it was 30 degrees, and when I arrived it was -2. I’m used to it now and seeing snow for the first time was an awesome experience!
Donnell Wallam – Leeds Rhinos