Ellyse Perry Interview
Ellyse Perry – an Australian dual sportswoman and the youngest person (male or female) to represent Australia in cricket and the first Australian woman to have appeared in both cricket and football world cups. Last year Ellyse was voted most marketable sportsperson in Australia and 36th in the world.
Ellyse is an amazing Australian talent who is really raising the profile of women's sport in Australia. Ellyse has a grassroots program, The Ellyse Perry Challenge and is actively involved in getting young women involved in both sports.
Interview with Ellyse Perry
Question: What initially inspired your passion for cricket and football?
Ellyse Perry: My family had a huge role to play in developing a love for the outdoors and physical activity. My earliest memories are of us playing outside in the backyard or making trips to the beach of local park whenever we had a chance. I love everything associated with that kind of lifestyle, so to be able to play sport for a career is something I feel incredible fortunate about.
Question: Can you talk us through your training schedule; how does it differ when training for two sports?
Ellyse Perry: The main consideration for my training schedule is obviously incorporating the two sports and making sure I am able to do enough specific training for both. I do skills sessions either with the team or individually for both cricket and soccer, and then my gym program is prepared to incorporate exercises that benefit both sports. Most of my running conditioning is done through soccer.
Question: What's a typical day like, for you?
Ellyse Perry: I normally train first thing in the morning, before grabbing some breakfast at home or out and about. A few days a week I have Uni, so I will then head in to class for a few hours before or after lunch. Then I will have training again in the evening.
Question: How important is diet and nutrition to your training?
Ellyse Perry: Eating the right foods is really important to my energy levels and the way I play, train and recover. More generally though I think it's really important to maintain a balanced and health lifestyle. I find eating meals based around my physical demands to be effective. For example eating a substantial meal around 3 to 4 hours before training and then, if need be, topping it up with a small snack just beforehand. If I feel lethargic before a session I will use a measured dose of caffeine to help me stay alert and concentrate; Red Bull sugar free is great product to use to aid with this.
Question: How do manage to juggle cricket, soccer, university and a social life?
Ellyse Perry: I really enjoy having a balanced lifestyle and doing different things in a day. I think having a number of passions and interests helps me maintain my motivation. I also have some incredibly wonderful support from cricket, soccer and Uni as well as my family and friends.
Question: How does it feel to be voted most marketable sportsperson in Australia?
Ellyse Perry: A bit strange and completely unexpected to be honest. It's always really nice to be recognised in different ways, and there are a number of fantastic opportunities in other fields that come through playing sport. I think we are truly fortunate to have so many wonderful athletes to take inspiration from in Australia; all of whom are marketable in their own right, but I think most would attest to just wanting to do as well as they can in their chosen field and I'm probably no different in that regard.
Question: Congratulations on your engagement (to Matt Toomua); have you made any wedding plans?
Ellyse Perry: Thank you! No, not yet, we are just enjoying being engaged.
Question: What has been your biggest sporting highlight, so far?
Ellyse Perry: Having the opportunity to represent my country in two sports that I truly love has been incredible and something I feel so fortunate to have been able to do. I've seen some amazing places and met some wonderful people. Those experiences, alongside competing and being constantly challenged have been my highlights so far.
Question: What advice do you have for teenage girls who want to play cricket and/or football professionally?
Ellyse Perry: Go for it! Sometimes I think girls have the tendency to hang back and not do the things they really want to. Participating in sport is a wonderful avenue to make new friends, challenge yourself and maintain a healthy, balanced lifestyle, and if you are able to turn it in to a career it's a bonus. Cricket and soccer have provided me so much in the way of wonderful experiences and opportunities which are opened to all women to experience. Just make sure you always have fun and enjoy it, it's the best maxim for success.
Question: You are sponsored by Red Bull; how important is sponsorship to you?
Ellyse Perry: I love working with Red Bull. They are such an innovative and adventurous company and I think they have played a huge role in helping me to challenge myself and think of new ways to be better at what I do.
Question: Can you tell us about The Ellyse Perry Challenge; what is involved in the program?
Ellyse Perry: The Ellyse Perry Challenge is about encouraging young girls to lead an active and healthy lifestyle and I feel the best way to do this is to make sure that they are enjoying themselves. Sport has been such a wonderful part of my life. Both cricket and football have provided me with some amazing life experiences which I've been able to share with some good friends. The challenge gives girls the opportunity to play both sports and test their skills in a fun and inclusive environment.
Question: What's next, for you?
Ellyse Perry: Both our national competitions for cricket and soccer run over the summer, so they are about to get in to full swing. I play for the NSW Breakers in cricket and Sydney FC in soccer. I love summer, it's such a lovely time of year and I'm really looking forward to playing lots of sport.
Interview by Brooke Hunter