AFL – Still a Man’s Sport?

This interview explores current topics surrounding Australian rules football with the introduction of the Women’s league for the first time this season. The main research found that the AFL has a large pay gap between men and women’s professional AFL players. The ABC provided the statistics that female players are being paid 125 times less than their male counterparts. The Australian also discussed sexism in the sport. Additional research showed that there was a huge difference for New South Wales and Victorian fans, between what matches were available on free-to-air and cable television stations, as well as additional coverage on news stations, both television and radio, and in local newspapers.

Australian Rules football has had a predominately Victorian fan base within Australian society. The introduction of the Women’s league created exposure nation and world-wide in bridging the quality gap between men’s and women’s professional sports. But the question is, is the AFL really doing enough to bridge that gap so women unlike men, must work alongside their professional football career in order to make a living? Recently ABC online provided statistics showing that female players are being paid 125 times less than their male counterparts. It was also made apparent in the AFLW’s annual report that an entire women’s AFL team cost less that an individual average male player.

To gain an insight, UTS Sports Media spoke to an AFL mega fan Clare in Sydney last week. She has this to say on the issue: ‘’ With it being such a massive thing firstly, to the women in the AFL league, I think they’re doing a fantastic job this season, with the introduction of women. However, there’s still a long way to go for women to have the same opportunities as men do.’’

The Women’s league certainly gained great exposure across the shortened eight-week season, the exhibition match, won by 19 points by the Demons, reached 1.1 million viewers who watched at least five minutes across Channel 7, 7mate and Foxtel. (Footywire.com.au statistics).

With so much exposure and fans barracking for their favourite teams, it would make sense that football would be a full-time job for the female athletes, like the men? Think again. The top two players of each team will get about $25,000 for the season, and then $10,000 for high profile players, and $5,000 for everyone else. You read correctly: These elite athletes will earn merely $5,000 for an eight-week season. All are expected to train about nine hours per week, plus pre-season. This seems incomparable with an average male player who earns just over $300,000 (ABC.net). This essentially equates to buying an entire women’s team for the cost of a single male player. It just doesn’t add up.

Clare voiced her concerns on this topic by saying, ‘’As a mother of a daughter, I am very excited by the fact that women’s league has been introduced. And by the time she’s old enough, hopefully those years would have provided enough time for it to have developed and become an equal opportunity. ‘’ The problem seems to lie with broadcasting rights to women’s matches, as that’s where the big money lies. It would be expected to take a few years before the broadcasters would pay rights to show women’s footy matches, according to AFL’s general manager of game and market development, Simon Lethlean.

As long as the women are paying the same game, they deserve the rights to be paid equally.

Below is what the public had to say:

AFLTwitter Poll

AFL Fb Poll

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Too Much Ego, Kills Talent

For some people, their world can revolve around, how many ‘likes’ they need to attain on social media, in order to validate their existence, or feel worthy. It could be easy to get caught up in the popularity contest. By comparing how many ‘followers’ you have, to the person next to you. Some people too, feel the need to create an idealistic life with pictures; to make themselves seem more attainable to people viewing behind a screen. This is not real life

Once upon a time, I too was so naive to get caught up in this world. And was worried about my social media life reflecting how many people liked me, in real life. Then I realised how shallow and Ridiculous this thought process, really was. You are worth much more than that. And to be honest, now that this no longer phases me – I’ve been a lot happier ever since. 

Your success in this world, depends on gracefully you move through life, how much you put in and how well you treat others. 1000 likes on a selfie, ain’t going to save you when you’re in trouble or keep you warm at night. 

I have noticed the world of Track and Field, has become very much similar in following this Trend. I love track. I always have. It’s my passion. And a huge part of my life. This will be my eighteenth season, as a competing athlete. And I’ve begun to notice these negative trends progress over the years. 

Politics, gossip and ‘followers’ – have somewhat been a closer focus and point of conversation, rather than how fast, strong, or agile someone is. Those other elements have nothing to do with performance. This doesn’t make sense. This frustrates me. 

Being an individual sport, it can become very lonely out there. No Team, backing you. Just the track. Your thoughts in your head and the hard work you’ve put in, to get you to that point. And then, this ‘Trend’ is continuing to emerge and take focal point. Where it seems people have progressively begun to judge another athlete, based on how many followers she or he has, or how their social life matches up to their fellow competitors.

I’m sorry, but that isn’t going to make you run a PB. Attain a qualifier. Or win a medal. It’s going to create a false sense of security. Make you worry about your reputation. And create an environment for yourself, that encourages popularity based majorly on looks. Rather than yourself as a human being. 

Don’t get me wrong; Social media is a wonderful tool! For sharing memories, marketing and promotion or advertising. But it should not be a platform for bullying and slander, because someone doesn’t ‘match up’ to their competitor online. Even though they might be a greater athlete on the track than them.  What has our sport become? Bullying is never okay.

I, personally have been bullied on social media, a few times over. It’s strange encounter. Having Someone hiding behind a keyboard, throwing words at you. Having someone try and bring you down, in order to make themselves look more cool, or more attainable for what ever reason. 
Having someone judge your worth, based on a picture? They don’t even know you. They don’t know how deep their words could be cutting. They don’t know your situation or the state of your mental health. They don’t know you, as a person. Yet, they attack – for personal gain? Or for a laugh? That doesn’t help anything. Or anyone. 

Your ego, is your worst enemy. This negative energy thrown around, will only ultimately come back to bite you. 

I’ve found this trend translate from behind the screen to real life, in more recent circumstances. I recently had a former bully, approach me in a social situation… and try and get some kind of gain from making a public personal attack. 

Fortunately I was mature enough, to defuse the situation. Act politely. And discontinue that encounter as quick as it started, much to their dismay. But, I do wonder – what fuelled their experience? What was their goal behind doing that? To want to personally attack me… for being me? I kinda felt sorry for them, in that moment. 

I’ve never done anything to harm this person in any way metaphorically or physically, but yet I am a target? No. I will not stand for this. I deserve to go through life, being authentically me. Free of judgement, just like the next person. Or fear of someone trying to bring me down for simply being myself. And, as does each of you, equally have that right! 

This egotism, can move into how you interact in front of people. If you surround yourself with that negative persona for long enough, it can become you. And I’ve seen it change people’s personalities, just like this individual’s. 

To say the right things in front of the screens and then slander other people behind the scenes. 

Humility

And I can only wish these people, attain enough self confidence to become humble. To realise their actions aren’t making themselves a better person, a better athlete or making the world better. It’s only bringing someone else down. 

I encourage you: Never lower yourself to your bully’s standards. Don’t follow The Trend. Negative people will find their flaws. Karma will take care of that. 
Your job it to keep doing you. Authentically you. And move through life attracting all the positive energy, you solely deserve.  

Run your race, you beauty! 

Interview and Slideshow

I decided to interview a very interesting man names Sundesh, from gym I train at following my technical glitch and got a great insight into how he firstly, migrated to Australia in search of asylum during a political coo, in Fiji during the late 1980’s in which he was a radio journalist himself.

Sundesh was captured by military and explained he was hung by the arms for three days straight, in punishment of reporting on what was going on in Fiji. He decided to flee his country, and sought help from a politician in Australia. He was able to secure residency and relocated after three months of correspondence.
Sundesh, went on to explain how he now thinks of Australia as home. And a country who provide him and his family safety, food and a sense of belonging during a time of need.
Sundesh explained he trained at the gym, we were currently at during his relocation to Sydney. But then went on to travel 127 countries in search of a story to write a book upon.

He is now 74 years old, and has found himself back at the same gym he trained at all those years ago. Vince and Roz’s gym is one of Australia’s longest running gyms, having been operating at various locations around Sydney since 1953.
Sundesh explained that having broken his back during his travels in New Zealand, physical therapy was the only thing that has made him as mobile as he is now.
He is happy to be back at his old training ground, having re-joined the gym Just two weeks ago.

This is what he had this to share with us, about his triumph over serious injury.

Going the distance. 

A poem..

Have you ever been lucky enough to find that person. That you don’t need, but life’s better with, by far than without. The person, All the rom-com movies talk about. The, actual ”ONE”.

I found mine.

Unexpectedly. And spontaneously.

And it was easy.

The Dating. The commitment. The ups and downs. To sharing a house together. Sharing a life together.

The one person you can’t wait to tell everything to!

Who makes you laugh, like you’ve never cracked up – Nearly peed-your-pants kind of laugh.

The little things you’d normally get annoyed by. Don’t seem to bother you at all, with this one. 

But Annoying each other; that never gets old.

To hanging out and never getting sick of each other’s company.

To the point you actually miss them, even if you’ve only been a part a few hours.

The smiles. Oh, how he makes me smile! 

The conversations that are so deep, they make you understand yourself better. They make you understand your life better; the world

And you can so easily, see yourself creating a little Future together. A future full of hope and undoubtedly, a future full of love

But then oneday, your world suddenly changes. 

And everything you gotten used to, disappears. 

Long distance.

Some say ”it will never work…” To walk away. 

We thought it mightn’t work. But giving up on each other was never an option for me.

I knew It would be hard. 

But we chose. And We continue to choose. Each other. Again and again.

To wake up to an empty side of the bed, every morning, was kind of sad. Then the times when I checked my phone, hoping for that text. Or that call.

I may have broke down, crying at unexpected, embarrassing moments when I was reminded of something he said, a place we visited. A moment we created together. A song we danced along to. 

Or simply, just missing him. That one happens a lot. All days. Every day. 

But we are strong. 

We force a smile when we talk about Him; because nothing could describe to someone how you deeply, achingly, painfully miss him.

It would be easy to step back. 

Be we simply chose to love

With a promise that we’ll be back in each other’s arm’s soon enough.

By Far, the most emotionally testing, draining, lonely investment I have ever embarked upon. 

But I’ll all be worth it, when he’s back. 

When he’s truly home

It’ll be worth the tears, the trials, the struggles, the doubts, the self doubts.

Because sometimes distance makes everything clearer.It makes you realise; it’s worth it all. This is your person. There is no one on this planet like them. You crave them. You are theirs. 

That life is always going to be better with that person. And nothing is stronger than the love we have

So I’ll keep on, keeping on: chosing him. Choosing to love him everyday. 

Because the promise his eyes, gave mine. During the hardest goodbye of my life, said it all. That this is real, undoubtable, uncontrollable.. love.

And love is all you really, ever need.

Keep choosing love. 

The Cost of Ambition

The alarm goes off. Your day begins. It’s still dark outside. You think, ”do I really have to.” Inner you says ”Yes! Rise and grind, girl.”

I’m not a morning person. But it has to get done. Training. Work day. More training. It’s 8:30pm and you’re still in the gym on a Sunday evening, thinking ”What am I even doing here?” Inner you says ”Cause you’ve got work to do.”It’s a constant brain-battle, between your mind and body. 


You know you need to do those early mornings, those late nights. Those extra training sessions. The active recovery. The rehab. The gruelling sports massages and acupuncture sessions to stay uninjured. The Friday nights spent at the gym, instead of at the club with your mates.You need to Work multiple jobs: to sustain this life.

Because you’re not an average human. You’re a person who won’t settle for a mediocre life. You crave something more.Something extraordinary. And you’ll do everything it takes to get there.If you can resonate with this mind-play.

Maybe not resonate directly to lifestyle , as maybe your goal isn’t physical, like mine. Maybe you are studying to better your work life.

Maybe you are working your butt off, in a job you aren’t necessarily passionate about, to better your passions in life. To better someone else’s life that you are responsible for. Or simply to just get by. 

Whatever you’re doing.I encourage you to keep going. Never stop the grind. Every step you aim to better yourself, every step you are closer to those goals.Never settle less, than the life you expected of yourself.

It will all be worth it, oneday soon enough. You’ll know why you had to go through it all. Until then, trust the process. 

You got this

Each day, really is a new gift. 

I’ve always been very close to my family. Even though I’ve been living out of home for some time now. They’re always there; we talk everyday. Even if I’m on the others-side of the world. A day wouldn’t go by where I wouldn’t communicate with them. Or know they’re thinking and praying for me. They really are everything.

On December 24th, 2016. My world changed forever. My dad. The strongest man I know. Was diagnosed with a large tumor on his brain.

I thought he was joking; I didn’t want to believe it. ”Dad, stop playing. What did the results really say…”

”I have a tumor Lani..” he simply said. As he watched my eyes fill with tears. And I gave him a big hug, still in shock. Unwilling to believe what just came out of his mouth. It couldn’t be….that’s my dad. He has to be okay.

Thoughts began to rush into my head! How would be go on if something happened to Dad. What would happen to life as we knew it. Mum? Her solemate for almost 30 years. Dad wouldn’t get to walk me down the aisle, on my wedding day. Or watch his daughter potentially compete at an Olympic Games. All of this seemed meaningless compared to the thought of potentially losing him. Our family, our rock. Our everything

He wouldn’t get to be a Grandpa. All of these things rushed into my head. 

Closer to the surgery, when I asked Dad is he was scared, he simply said ”Well yeah Lani, but you’ve just got to take it each day at a time. And trust God it’ll all be okay.”

 About 8 weeks down the track. That brave, humble, resilient man has had the tumor successfully removed from his brain

He was tested during this time. Tested by his faith. by affirming his trust in God. Trusting the doctors and nurses looking after him. And trusting in himself; that everything was gonna be okay.

We are completely overjoyed and thankful. One that he is still here. Two, the bastard is gone! And three the surgery was a success.He is on the long road of recovery now. It’s all gonna be okay

Our family are overwhelmed with the support from all over the world. Thank you to anyone who has reached out to us. Prayed for us. Might be praying for us now. 

This has completely changed my outlook. Like, what if I was diagnosed with something life threatening? Am I going to regret not doing things today, by waiting until tomorrow. 

No. Carpe-bloody-Diem! (seize the day!) I’ve always been a firm believer in that saying. But seeing how Dad has been so strong. So faithful. So optimistic through this whole process. Has made me, my mother, my brothers – stronger. Stronger in our personal faith. And faith in the world.

Major brain surgery conquered and all Dad wants to do is hit the gym. Bless him.
I encourage you, whatever is thrown your way. You must learn patience. Patience that the future will bring brighter things. Patience that God always has a bigger plan. Patience that ”everything will always be okay in the end. If it’s not okay, it’s not the end.” 

So, Smile more. Spread joy. Live without regrets. And seize your day! 

Your Real Meaning of Christmas

This holiday season, it’s very easy to get caught up in the commercialised side of Christmas, materialism and spending. It’s easy to lose sight of what’s important. I’ve seen so many people get so stressed about who they need big gifts for and how much they’re spending. Rather than simply, why we are buying gifts in the first place.

You can very easily Lose sight of what Christmas really means to you. It might be along the lines of. Family time. Reunions. Giving. Or The CHRIST in Christmas.


I would encourage you, this Christmas time to take a moment to simply think about what Christmas might mean to someone like this little girl. I had the joy of meeting in Cambodia. She may look happy, dressed and in good health. But she is Living in an improvised community. Her parents might not earn more than $AU 70c per day. Which is enough to get by, to put rice on the table. By Christmas would certainly look very different from ours.

I have no doubts, her smile would remain the brightest little grin; I’ve ever seen. Her attitude would still be carefree. She would not know the feeling of seeing wrapping paper and presents under a tree. Or a santa sack on the end of her bed.

Christmas might simply be another day to her. With added silly songs about a fat man in a suit.

These people are strong. Even though they live in destitution; they are happy with their simple way of living. They have enough to live and learn. And they don’t complain or think ‘why me.’ They do their best to provide a future for their families.  And realised they are blessed with what little they have.

I encourage you, and your family to never take your situation for granted. Some people are praying for what you have. And what you have, could very well be enough.

Take care, be grateful and be safe his Christmas and hold your loved ones close.