2021 Women In Sport Breakfast Wrap Up

The eighth annual Women in Sport Breakfast was held on Friday 8 October in line with the International Day of the Girl. 

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the 2021 event was once again held online via the Zoom platform. 

Despite being online over 300 people attended to once again recognise the achievements of women in sport and to this year hear how sport has adapted to the global pandemic and its impacts. 

To keep the breakfast element of the event alive, attendees were invited to prepare an optional breakfast, with a recipe for Banoffee Chia Pudding with Date Caramel provided by former MasterChef Australia contestant and Sydney Swans Head Chef Courtney Roulston.

The formal proceedings of the event kicked off with journalist Georgie Tunny as our Master of Ceremonies. 

Ms Sheena Watt MP, representing the Hon. Ros Spence MP, Minister for Community Sport then addressed the audience, touching on what a tough year it has been for sport and the importance of women’s sport and how women and girls can be what they can see. 

Georgie then led a question and answer session on the positives of sport in 2021 with our panel of Layne Beachley AO Chair of Surfing Australia,  Australian Women’s rowing 4 team gold medalist Lucy Stephen, women’s artistic gymnast Emily Whitehead, and Paralympic swimmer Ellie Cole OAM,. 

Layne shared how it felt to see surfing included in the Olympics for the first time.

“It was the first time for our athletes to surf as part of a team, and surf for something bigger than themselves… it puts a lot more pressure on their shoulders but also puts a lot more heart into the performance, so it was really rewarding to see,” said Layne.

Lucy talked about how she and her team prepared for the Olympics after over a year without international competitions and the mindset that led them to a gold medal.

“It was what we did in training that built that trust to be able to stick together… It was one of those races in which we knew that we could do it and we knew that if we had a good race we could win, and if anyone was going to beat us they would have to have the race of their lives.The mentality I’ve always held in the back of my mind is that you want your worst race to be better than everyone else’s best race, which is definitely how we trained and how we went about our business in the lead up to the games,” said Lucy. 

Emily talked about her journey to the Olympics and how she managed the challenges of lockdown in Victoria, returning from an injury and finding her love and motivation for gymnastics again. 

“We spent a lot of time at the end of last year just playing around the gym, doing some new skills, playing games and that really helped me see the light of this sport and really see that it was about more than just competitions and training as hard as you can, it was actually to enjoy the process and that’s something I’ve really taken on this year; enjoying each step of the way and acknowledging those little achievements, no matter how big or small they are,” said Emily.

Ellie reflected on what it meant to her to be the flagbearer for the Australian Paralympic team.

“In that moment, I finally understood what sport is all about; global unity and everybody putting their differences aside and playing sport,” said Ellie.  

Sarah Styles, Director of the Office for Women in Sport and Recreation in Victoria then gave an address regarding how to promote and engage women in sport and how we can rebuild given the challenges of COVID-19.

To close out the event, we drew out a winner of a North Trampolines’ five metre Explorer Trampoline valued at over $2000 thanks to Oz Trampolines. 

Thank you to our major partner Victoria University and our other partners for the event:  

Sport and Recreation Victoria, Victoria Racing Club, Football Victoria, Cricket Victoria, Golf Australia, Victorian Olympic Council, Squash and Racquetball Victoria, VicSport, Bicycle Network, Bowls Victoria, Calisthenics Victoria, Carruthers Executive, Motorsport Australia, Equestrian Victoria, Hockey Victoria, Netball Victoria, Skate Victoria, Tennis Victoria, Triathlon Victoria, Volleyball Victoria, Women Sport Australia and YMCA Victoria. 
Thank you to everyone who joined us for the online event and made the morning a big success! 

Story by Sarah Green