Saturday, May 29, 2010

Talking with Stephanie Gilmore, Surfer

Stephanie Gilmore in action, thanks to RipCurl Australia
When you want to get the low-down on a sport, the best place to start is with the experts. Aussie surfer Stephanie Gilmore is three times ASP World Champion, was awarded the Laureus World Sport Award and loves her sport.

When I talked to her for Oxygen mag (Aus) she said: “I love to surf because it is such a free spirited lifestyle and the ocean is forever changing so it never really gets boring. There’re always challenges for me and I love competing because the taste of victory is so good!”

But winning in surfing takes more than a tan and a funky board, Stephanie told me: “I try to look after my body and mind so I can be healthy and compete at my very best, so I do a training program from CHEK Australia (Corrective Holistic Exercise Kinesiology) that focuses on core stability and balance which is all very relative to surfing.”

She mentioned core strength and rotation a number of times, adding: “Surfing involves a lot of twisting and explosive moves so those two things are extremely important to help you stay centred over your board.”

But some of the simple stereotypes hold true as she reckons that bare feet, sun-bleached hair and broad shoulders are a dead give-away of a surfer lifestyle. Read more about Stephanie on her blog Steph Gilmore

How do you work on your core strength?

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Why Just Women?

Watching men play sports is exciting, I get that - I do it too. I just think that watching women play sports is exciting too (you know I mean all of this in a non-sexual way, right?).

I get that men doing sports attract advertising which newspapers and TV stations need to survive. The thing is this means when a ten year old boy turns on the television or surfs the net, he gets instant inspiration - hundreds of role-models. When a ten year old girl wants to play sport, it's harder for her to find her thing. In Ireland (where this blog is being written) girls get steered towards 'girls' sports while their true love might be in the boxing ring or on top of a mountain. I get to interview  a lot of fabulous women athletes for my job, and I train with even more so I'd like to make a space for their ideas  - the stuff that doesn't get in the magazines for one reason or another. Personally I'm on a journey back to fitness, and while men are inspiring it's the women I really want to be.

What about you, does your inspiration come from men or women, or does it matter?

Sunday, May 9, 2010

In the Beginning

What's a girl to do when illness and injury take sports out of her life? Wait, take lots of medication and write about other women who are still healthy (damn them!).

Who needs Manolo Blahnik?
But now there is light at the end of the tunnel so time to think about getting healthy again, and write more on the sportswomen I love and anything else that pops into my head related to women in sport. It's not a personal blog so if you're looking for salacious details about boyfriends or family, this is not the place for you. But if you love sports, especially individual sports and think there isn't enough written about women and girls who do too, then join me please.