GWS defender Louise Stephenson is extinguishing threats on and off the AFLW discipline, having spent her pre-season studying to be a firefighter.
Stephenson’s dad modified into as soon as a firey and she wanted to follow in his footsteps, but growing up did no longer imagine it modified into as soon as an option for girls.
The muse Big’s eyes were opened when she moved to Sydney.
Having completed a 14-week intensive direction at Fire and Rescue NSW’s academy, Stephenson is now working in the CBD fireplace space alongside dual international Ruan Sims.
The 25-twelve months-outdated’s work roster is uncommon but has the flexibility required for her to prepare for Sunday’s crunch clash with West Soar at Blacktown International Sportspark.
“It is 24 hours on, then a destroy day, then 24 hours on again,” Stephenson said. “Then 5 days off.
“So in phrases of being a share-time athlete, it be gigantic. Whilst you happen to would possibly perchance want got a shift, you would possibly well swap with someone, and they in fact worth my unbiased as a footballer. I’m extraordinarily lucky.”
The key defender knows several AFLW avid gamers are no longer as lucky, highlighting work-sport steadiness as a serious discipline for growing the girls’s sport.
It has been a topic of conversation with trailblazer Sims, who has represented Australia at rugby and rugby league world cups.
“We lose a lot of female athletes thanks to the share-time nature of it,” Stephenson said.
“It is the identical with NRLW and other sports actions.
“We have spoken about that, how for numerous individuals they unbiased appropriate can’t gain the kind of versatile profession.
“It’d diagram it method more appealing for younger female athletes to pursue AFLW or NRLW careers if they knew there would possibly be a paunchy-time profession – or more of a financial incentive.”
Border closures – and the imminent prospect of AFLW hubs – is determined to diagram the work-soccer steadiness even more precarious.
The Giants gain already completed their bit, shifting their pre-season scandalous to Albury then Adelaide to diagram certain that the competitors started as scheduled.
GWS then had to self-isolate after their spherical-one loss in Perth overlapped with that city’s lightning lockdown that started at the finish of January.
“Any other folks unbiased appropriate can’t commit to an prolonged duration away from home,” Stephenson said.
“A good deal of teams would possibly perchance merely strive against to construct a protracted-term hub.
“It is a in fact exhausting one. Here’s what we train for each twelve months, but a lot of the girls are already sacrificing rather bit.
“The avid gamers’ affiliation are doing a big job. The AFL are doing a big job, asking our opinions earlier than selections are made.
“They’re getting a gauge on what we can commit to. What’s viable for every person – financially and emotionally.”