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Ellyse Perry; Australia’s sporting wonder Women

Michael Clarke is a great cricketer. Harry Kewell is a legendary soccer player. Australia loves its sports stars but they are usually confined to one sporting arena. Ellyse Perry crosses all boundaries. At just 22 she has played for both the Commonwealth Bank Southern Stars (the Australian women’s cricket team) and as a Matilda (the Australian women’s soccer team).

She was the youngest person to represent Australia in cricket at age 16 (2007). Football soon followed. Two sports for the country and she was barely 22. The pressure could be too much for some athletes at such a young age. But Ellyse has never been happier. Playing both sports she says “It’s certainly something that I really love doing and I feel extremely fortunate to have represented my country in both cricket and soccer. It’s a huge thrill for me every time I walk onto the field to represent Australia.”
By February she had played in the International Cricket Councils 50 Over World Cup Series for the Southern Stars. She was part of the Commonwealth Bank Southern stars teams who won the ICC Women’s Twenty20 title in 2010 (against the West Indies) and 2012 (against Sri Lanka.) Ellyse also played in the 2008 Asian Cup for the Matildas. Despite her great success she is also humble.
Ellyse is one of the great athletes currently playing any sport in Australia.
Together with the likes of Casey Eltham, Sam Stousar and Stephanie Gilmore, she would be one of the most famous female sport stars in the country. Does she regard herself as one of the best?

“I don’t know if that’s necessarily the case, I think there are so many wonderful and talented athletes in Australia and we’re so lucky to live in a country that is so fanatical about sport and to have so many athletes who have achieved so much across a spectrum of things. I certainly don’t regard myself in that category…”
Ellyse was born in Wahroonga on the northern suburbs of Sydney. She still enjoys heading home, Perry says “…I still live on the North Shore with my family so the northern beaches aren’t too far away. I love going to the beaches whenever I get a chance, it’s such a beautiful part of the world…”

Like all Australians she loves the beach. Does she have a favourite spot in Sydney?

“I love heading up to Palm Beach or as far north as I can. The Boathouse is a really lovely spot to grab something to eat.”

But is she a Sea Eagles supporter?

“No I’m not a Manly Wahroonga supporter, I’m actually a Parramatta Eels fan by default as that is (the team) my dad supports.”

When asked whether she likes Test cricket or the emerging shortened form of the game of T20 she is very clear.

“I love Test cricket. I think for a cricket fanatic being involved in that format is the ultimate test of the sport.”

Perry’s training regime is complicated balancing demands between her cricket and football career. Ellyse had to miss the final of the Sydney FC match against Melbourne Victory on her way to tour India with the Southern Stars for the world cup. Was she looking forward to it?

“Very much so. I think we’re all looking forward to the ICC Women’s World Cup. It only comes around once every four years so it’s a really special occasion and a special year to be involved with the Commonwealth Bank Southern Stars.”

Training is balanced between both cricket and football (soccer). She credits those around her with allowing her to balance such a hectic life.

“I have wonderful support from both cricket and soccer. They help me manage the commitments I have with each sport and also help me to train and prepare for matches effectively.”

Besides cricket the dominating part her life is football. The ultimate goal of every young soccer player is to become a player in the national team, the Matildas.

“Yes, I’ve loved every opportunity that I’ve had to play and represent Australia in both cricket and soccer and I’d love to have another opportunity to do that again at some stage.”

Ellyse Perry first came to my attention in news when her football team Canberra United had said she had to choose between soccer and cricket. Simply put, she played both sports but Canberra wanted her to choose because time took up both. Sydney FC decided to give her the option to do both, agreeing to let her play soccer and cricket.

In 2012 Ellyse made the move from Canberra to Sydney FC. It has been the making of her. Had she enjoyed the move to Sydney?
“(Absolutely,)… it’s been a really wonderful season. Making the W-League grand final has capped off a really fantastic year with my new side and being based full time in my home town has been wonderful…”

With the move means the city of Sydney holds a special place in Elyse’s heart. She“…love(s) the diversity of Sydney – from our city to the wonderful harbour, as well as the beaches that surround the city. You can then head up north to more spectacular beaches or enjoy the relaxed atmosphere of the city. Also, I love Sydney because it’s my home and that’s where my family and friends are.”
Although she is not a coffee fan, she does drink a lot of tea and “my favourite tea is green tea.”

Besides touring India so recently Ellyse “…really loved every opportunity I’ve had to travel around Europe. I particularly loved France and have been fortunate enough to watch the Tour de France on two occasions, which was really special.”
Ellyse is also known for her various media appearances on JJJ.
For someone to achieve such success in two sports is almost unheard of. But I ask her anyway, what is her advice, particularly to girls coming through the ranks of sport to achieve such greatness?

































































































































































“I think first and foremost whatever it is you are doing make sure you enjoy it. If you love what you do and work hard, success will follow.” Sound advice from someone who has achieved so much at only the age of 22.

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