SO had the pleasure to meet and interview Tara Rushton!
You may recognise Tara as a member of the FoxSports team that hosts the football show Sunday Shootout.
Tara is a beautiful reminder for women and girls to immerse yourself in your passions! We believe she is a wonderful ambassador for the promotion of women’s sports and in particular the growth of women’s football on home soil and internationally.
SO… Ever wondered how you could combine media, journalism and a love for sport?
Check out Tara’s tips and insights into her career, her passion for sport, and on how to stay true to yourself and invest in what you love!
- First things first, tell us a little bit about yourself. Do you come from a sporting family?
My Dad was a ‘Physical Training Instructor’ (also known as P.E teacher) in the Navy and my Mum would teach aerobics and step classes out of work hours whilst she was in the Navy too. So I grew up with parents who were always physically active. My Dad taught my fellow classmates and I in primary school how to sail Tasars. I always played sport and was definitely a swimmer and netballer.
- What were your favourite sports to play growing up in school? What sports do you play today?
I loved netball and played a bit of softball and touch football. Definitely netball was my strength. I was Centre or Wing Attack. For the past few years I have played mixed football (five-a-side) as well as in an all-girls comp. I currently play football for an all girls, mixed age team, called the Gordon Geckos.
- You gained the exciting opportunity back in 2013 to join the Fox Sports football team in Australia. What motivated you to pursue a passion for media and sports journalism?
I always loved to tell stories regardless of the subject matter. I would fill scrapbook with short stories I had written when I was younger and would spend weekends creating mock magazines. I was always curious, and at 17 when I graduated high school and thought about what I wanted to do (which was an incredibly daunting decision to make at that age) – I was drawn to media and communications.
My first paid written work was varied – from travel features, personality profiles, a dating column to a book on entrepreneurs and their success. When I had the opportunity to work in sport – now six years ago – I jumped at the opportunity to combine two passions together.
- What are some valuable life lessons that you have learned throughout your career. What advice would you share to young women who aspire to pursue sports journalism?
Work hard, expect knock-backs but use them to fuel you.
Be patient and humble. Listen and always know your subject matter.
Don’t be fragile.
Women are currently under-represented on sporting Boards and at the top level of sporting organisations, but there is a clear shift because there is a need for women in the ‘sporting’ workplace and in the newsroom to not only give their point of view but to enable it to be successful.
My advice is to read, research, watch and know as much as you can about what you are passionate about. Be determined and persistent. Think about who you like to read and which journalist and presenters you admire. Contact sporting websites and try and get writing. Be willing to work for free (for a long time) or little money and ask as many questions as you can. Immerse yourself in your passion, practice and get as much experience as you can.
- We hear that you are an avid Arsenal supporter so you must be pretty happy about the team’s recent FA Cup win! Is there a particular sporting hero that you look up to? What qualities do you admire most about them?
COYG!! (Come On You Gunners!). Haha – what a result! I can’t look past the Matildas right now. The first Australian football team to make a World Cup quarterfinal. How GOOD! Determination and making history while having so much fun in the process… There really is nothing better.
- The 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup is a very special sporting event for many women footballers internationally. What does this competition mean to you?
It showcases the best female footballers in the world. It is gripping, riveting and a fantastic culmination of the best sports women in the world. Just looking at the Matildas in this campaign. Their love of the game in its purest form and determination against the odds is providing both females and males with really positive role models.
- What are your future hopes and dreams for women’s football in Australia?
More women are playing football across Australia then ever before and the interest is at a high due to the Matildas success. I hope women’s involvement at a social level continues to grow. That with a new broadcast agreement we can see more games televised (therefore more commercial interest). More female commentators and pundits, and a league that can grow in wealth, size and quality that fills stadiums, can pay all players a sustainable full-time wage and continues to attract world-class players.
- What advice would you share to young girls and women who are interested in pursuing a passion for sports?
Authenticity is invaluable. Go for what you want, expect lots of knock-backs and challenges along the way but stay true to yourself and remember why you started. You can never be too determined. Be willing to work hard – learn, learn and learn more and be as curious as possible.