I’m heartened to share our interview with New Zealand born, Sydney-based Lucy Nisa who plays local women’s AFL in Western Sydney. Lucy is a huge advocate for young girls and women to give sports a go, to challenge yourself and try something new!
We’re excited to share Lucy’s story at a time of the upcoming AFL National Women’s League due to commence in 2017.
SO… discover Lucy’s AFL journey; how she balances sports with a busy professional life as well as her future hopes and dreams.
Bev: First things first, tell us a little bit about yourself. SO… what are you passionate about?
Lucy: I am a born and bred Kiwi girl who loves time with friends, family the most and chocolate – lots of it! I love making people laugh and helping others where I can. You will most likely find me with my church family.
BB: How did you discover your love for AFL? Do you come from a sporting family?
LN: I wouldn’t say I come from a family of athletes, but I played all sports my whole life and so did my brothers. Being surrounded by boys growing up in New Zealand there was no debate – you had to watch rugby, which led to my absolute love for the All Blacks!
Being a Kiwi girl I laughed at AFL. It didn’t make sense to me and I was always wondering why they spent more time scrambling on the ground than on their feet. But a very good friend of mine had encouraged me to come watch an AFL game during the pre-season. I don’t think it was ‘love at first sight’ with AFL but I had a newfound respect for it. I thought if you can run constantly around an oval field for two hours you must be a superhuman!
BB: We admire that you have been involved in sports throughout school and now as a young professional you play women’s AFL for a local club. What motivated you to pursue this?
LN: I’ve always been keen on giving things a go. I don’t really stay too long somewhere or in something that I have become familiar with. I like to stay challenged. AFL was definitely a big challenge. I had never played it before like other sports I played in school so this was already exciting for me.
But as a young professional, I knew it was important to have an escape from my day to day life where I could go to and enjoy without thinking about what is waiting for me in the office or at home.
BB: What were your interests to growing up in school? How do you keep active today?
LN: At school, you name it I played it, from tennis through to hockey. I always loved being a part of a team and from a young age I was always challenged, which has carried on into my mid-twenties a competitive spirit. Today being a part of a local women’s AFL team keeps me quite active with training twice a week and games on the weekend.
BB: What are some valuable life lessons that you have learned through your AFL experience?
LN: To never be afraid of giving things a go! When I arrived at my first training session I was still sitting in my car deciding whether to do this or not because I was fearful of stepping into a new environment. I didn’t know if the girls would like me or if I’d even be good at it. Now I’m glad I didn’t drive off because I have met the best girls, play in a fun and caring team and we recently we’ve booked a spot heading into the finals!
BB: Are there any particular sporting heroes that you look up to? What qualities do you admire most about them?
LN: Michael Phelps is pretty inspirational. I love how he is the best at what he does whilst living in a life of faith. He didn’t have the best start to his professional sporting career but he is doing his best now to be a good person, and I can see that through my faith too which is very encouraging. Plus my competitive side can’t deny he is a winner with all those gold medals!
BB: SO… what advice would you like to personally share with girls interested in pursuing AFL? How can we get involved?
LN: This is a bit ironic coming from me, but AFL is all things fast and slow, competitive and friendly, skillful and a learning ground, plus I am a part of a great club with great facilities. Our coach is world class and our number one fan on the sideline alongside his wife. And the girls I play with will be friends of mine for a very long time I am sure! You can visit our website http://blacktownmagic.com.au/ for more information on how to join.
BB: Lastly, what are your future plans, hopes and dreams?
LN: My immediate goal is to pursue studies in Psychology next year. I’d love to help children and women through states of depression, low self-esteem and provide clinical methods to help recovery from abusive environments they may have come from. For the long term, I can see myself as a mum with kids who are All Black fans! I’d teach my children they can give anything a go even if they have never done it before. I secretly will love them even more if they choose AFL!
BB: Final message?
LN: Love yourself, love others and everything else will be OK.