Inspirational Women: Ellyse Perry

Each week SHESAID features an inspiring woman who has been kind enough to share her story with our readers. She might be a leader in her chosen field, someone still on their own path striving to make a difference or simply someone with a remarkable story to tell. These women contribute their own knowledge, expertise and life lessons in order to truly inspire others.

RELATED: Inspirational Women: Sharon Thurin

Tell us about what you do. What is it? What do you do on a day-to-day basis?

I’m an athlete who plays cricket and soccer, whilst also studying part time.

When did you know this is what you wanted to do this as a career?

I only really realised when I first started doing it. When I made my debut for Australia and had my first opportunity to experience sport at the highest level, I realised that it was exactly what I wanted to do.

You made history being the first Australian women to compete in both cricket and football (soccer) World Cups at a very young age. How have things changed for you since you began competing competitively?

Things haven’t really changed too much for me. I’ve always loved playing sport, whether it was in the backyard with my family, at my local club on the weekends or representatively for Australia. Sport has been a huge part of my life for a long time, and I feel incredibly lucky to call it my career.

You have are a big inspiration for women in sport. How do you find competing in such a male dominated environment?

I love it – cricket and soccer are just as much games for women as they are men. I’ve played with both boys and girls when I was younger, and men and women since then too. Some of my best friends are a group of guys I grew up playing club cricket with. One of the great things about sport is that it is a tremendous leveller. It’s also a great way to find common ground and relate to people. Whilst in the past there were a number of barriers in place to women’s participation, I think by and large a lot of those barriers have been broken down. Cricket Australia and Football Federation Australia have and continue to work tremendously hard to makes their sports inclusive for all people in all different realms of participation. I think it’s a really exciting time for women’s sport in Australia, and a lot of development has and is continuing to occur.

Your hard work has been recognized worldwide with countless accolades to your name – what do you feel is your biggest achievement?

I think having the opportunity to experience playing for Australia in two sports that I love has by far and away been my greatest highlight.

How do you deal with the pull between both cricket and football? What were the stumbling blocks, initially getting started since then?

I have some truly wonderful support, from cricket and soccer as well as my friends and family; they are the people who make it possible to play two sports that I love. I always think I have the easiest role in it all, to just go out and play. The biggest challenges always come when there is a clash in competitions that means I can’t play both sports at that particular period.

Where do you find your inspiration?

I find inspiration from a number of different sources, but I think mostly from an intrinsic motivation to keep getting better and learning – as a player and as a person. I love that every training, every game and every tour is an opportunity to work on things and often learn more about yourself. I think a lot of the experiences I’ve had as an athlete have shaped my thoughts and beliefs about so many things in life. My parents have also been a tremendous form of inspiration for me, as too have lots of athletes from a variety of sports.

What are your goals for the future?

To keep enjoying what I’m doing as much as I am at the moment. I’d really like to make a contribution to both sports that will make a tangible difference for years to come. Especially if that means getting more girls involved and active in sport at all levels and in all different capacities.

What advice would you give to someone wanting to follow the same path as you?

It probably comes as no surprise that I would say go for it, give it your absolute best shot. One thing I have always tried to hold myself to is to never dismiss an opportunity or potential experience without giving it the greatest of considerations. Sometimes you find the best learning and development opportunities come from things that you’d never expect. Take the time to talk to people and hear their thoughts and ideas.  And most importantly hold on to your own confidence and self- belief, it’s your greatest tool for success.

April 17, 2015

Spring Clean Your Workout

It’s said ‘variety is the spice of life’ and when it comes to your fitness regime, this rings true. Going to the gym, doing the same routine again and again, can leave you feeling unmotivated and less likely to keep it up. Fitness Manager at Virgin Active Health Clubs Mark Seeto provides his top tips to help you ‘spring clean’ your fitness regime and stay motivated:

1.     Experiment: If the thought of running on a treadmill for a half hour is your idea of hell, here’s a crazy thought – choose an exercise you actually enjoy doing! This way, you’re more likely to exercise regularly. The mistake a lot of us make is seeing exercise as a chore. If you’re doing something you enjoy, it’ll become something to look forward to. Trying out some new classes at the gym is a great way to experiment and find out what you enjoy most. Why not try something that combines fun and fitness like Virgin Active’s rock climbing walls, or shake your booty at a Zumba Step class.

2.     Enjoy the great outdoors: Exercising outdoors is a great way to get some fresh air and enjoy the scenery at the same time. While it might be tempting to stay in your local area, why not go for an adventure and visit a beach or nature trail you’ve never been to before? Walking on the sand or a hilly trail are both great ways to strengthen your core and improve your cardio fitness.

3.     Get a personal trainer: When it comes to your exercise regime at the gym, it’s easy to fall into the trap of sticking with what you know and doing the same exercises. With the help of a personal trainer, you can learn new and challenging excercises you’ve never tried before so you can put these into practice next time you’re exercising on your own.

4.     Bring a buddy: Kill two birds with one stone – catch up with the latest goss and get fit at the same time. Not only will exercising with a pal help to keep you motivated, they may have some pointers or exercises they love to do that you’ve never tried before.

5.     Reward yourself: If you know you’re going to get a reward after all your hard work, then it can help to give you the extra motivation you need to cycle for a few more minutes or lift some heavier weights. Spoil yourself by taking some time to wind down in Virgin Active’s sleep pods, enjoy a relaxing spa or sweat it out in the sauna.

July 24, 2014

You Can Too This Winter

Whether you’re a first time runner or a seasoned marathoner, now is the time to set your sights on participating in one of Australia’s most popular running festivals – and doing it for a good cause – by joining Can Too. Can Too is a non-profit program, which offers professional coaching across a number of metro locations, for beginners through to experienced athletes. In return, participants raise money that goes towards funding young Australian cancer researchers through Cure Cancer Australia.

Registrations are now open for Can Too marathon, half-marathon or 9km training programs for this year’s Blackmore’s Sydney Running Festival in September and the Medibank Melbourne Marathon Festival in October.

Can Too Founder, Annie Crawford, said participants love Can Too programs for more reasons than one due to the win/win combination of fitness and fundraising, as well as the milestones achieved and the fun and friendships that are formed along the way:

“Our Can Too participants – Can Tooers as they’re affectionately known – all join Can Too for very individual reasons. For some, they have a personal connection to cancer and this is a way for them to give back and to help fight the disease. For others, it’s about taking a risk and overcoming a fear, achieving something they never thought possible – whether that be physical or mental.

“We have Can Tooers of all different shapes and sizes, aged from 18 to 80, and we have some who have completed numerous marathons, and others who haven’t run since high school. It’s a wonderful mix of people who all share one common attribute – a Can Too attitude.”

Being a part of Can Too offers you:

  • A day-by-day training guide, and two professionally coached group training sessions per week
  • A great group of people to train with and fun social get-togethers
  • Fundraising ideas and support
  • Fun, fitness and lifestyle change
  • Access to inspirational speakers including champion athletes, sports experts, cancer survivors, and medical researchers
  • The ability to make a difference to your community through funding cancer research

The Can Too fundraising target is determined by the length of the training program, and all participants are provided with a fundraising booklet and support to conduct an effective fundraising campaign. Since its inception in 2005, Can Too has raised more than $13.5m and trained more than 9,000 participants. To date, more than 95 grants funded by Can Too have gone to young researchers nationally across all fields of cancer research. To register for a Can Too program or to find out more, visit

May 11, 2014