One of the BIG things I want to do through Merry People, is to share stories of amazing women who embarked on adventure, bravery and taken on the crazy unknown!
These women are ordinary individuals who don’t have thousands of followers on Instagram, nor is their life focused on being in the spot light. They are just going about their days, working hard and pursuing what makes them happy... (they are my type of influencer!)
Recently I was in Alice Springs, central Australia to meet a new stockist and briefly met a girl by the name of Jordann Hickey at the local gym.
It was Jordann's last work out with the very close-knit community gym as she was moving to Melbourne as the first girl from Central Australia to ever be drafted into the AFLW. (Australian Football League - Women's)
As a country girl myself, I know how inspiring and exciting it is to see people from your town (especially as a child) to go on to do big and wonderful things. It starts a belief and also a pathway to dream bigger!
Jordann is a beautiful, down-to-earth and hard-working girl who is excited to represent her Territory in Melbourne.
See below our chat!
Dani, Founder x
Were you always into sport as a child?
I was very active child!
I found that I loved being a part of sport because I made a lot of friends and it gave me something to do on the weekends. As a child I played basketball, tennis, touch, swimming and netball and I even gave hockey a go!
I represented the Northern Territory for swimming & netball at ages 10 & 11, training 5-6 days a week – so from an early age I was familiar with competitive sport & the training involved in it.
Wow, so much sport. So when did you start footy?
It wasn’t until I was 19 that I went out and tried out footy!
My friend needed someone to fill in for her team and I was unsure of what to expect.
I went down to training and ended up loving it! Footy was never a household sport in my house. My father is from QLD and is very much rugby supporter and my mums from VIC, but she too was more interested in rugby.
I feel very lucky and my parents who are very supportive of me. It didn’t matter what sport I was playing they would always come down and watch as they knew it was something I really enjoyed doing and they wanted me to have the support and succeed in whatever I set my mind on doing!
After being involved in footy for 4-5 years now my parents have seen me develop as a player and a person. They both love watching the games now ! However my dad still thinks rugby is a better game for men to play! ;)
How did you go in your first game - Were you scared at all?
I was very nervous going to play my first game as I didn’t know what to expect, I didn’t really know the rules well and I was worried I might get injured as I still had to play netball on Saturday (footy was Friday nights.)
When I started in Alice the competition was only 9 players on a team and only playing on 3/4 of a field! As a beginner I found it very beneficial as it was easier to learn the rules and develop your skills as you got more of the ball. The competition has now gone to full field as it is become a lot more popular since the start of the AFLW.
Then the team asked me to keep playing for the rest of the season! I was very lucky as the team I played for were very supportive and encouraging and I think that’s one of the main reasons I kept playing, as they helped me improve and I also just loved the fitness side of it.
How did your friends respond to you playing AFLW?
When I told a few of my other friends about playing footy they did laugh and question 'why would you play that!’ But now they all love it too and some of them are even playing themselves!
How has footy changed you?
Football has definitely help me grow as a person and made me a lot stronger mentally and physically! I have become a stronger leader within my club and the community.
Football is a sport that needs commitment and dedication and these two traits I have developed as I had set a goal and the only way I was going to reach it was if I was committed and dedicated towards myself and towards my coaches and PT as they put in a lot of time in to my development and I didn’t want to quit on them or myself.
It must be hard at times to stay focused. How do you stay motivated on the tough days?
The last 18 months has been a lot of hard work and definitely I have had days when I would lack the motivation and question why I am doing this!
I would find it difficult as for majority of my gym sessions I was working by myself getting up every morning at 5:30am. I was very fortunate to have a trainer who would push me and not only give me hard work outs to do every day but would give me the advice and the support I needed that would get me through those foggy days. She has saying that I now use, which is ‘we train to be fit for life, it’s not just a phase.’ So we are capable of doing anything we set our minds to, physically and mentally.
Knowing I had her support 100% is what would push me through the foggy days and I think it was a lot to do with having her voice in my head, saying get up and go do it as it is your overall goal we are working towards.
I would say football over the last two years has made me the happiest I have ever been as it has allowed me to excel in life. The fitter and stronger I have become the become more confident in myself as a player and a person on and off the field.
Tell me about the phone call, when you were told you would be drafted.
A few weeks out from the draft my coaches thought I might be in with a chance of getting picked up so we watched it all together not knowing what would happen. When I heard my name called out I was in a bit of shock but extremely happy and I couldn’t get the smile of my face! Just knowing all the hard work and commitment by myself and my coaches had paid off! I then received a call from the Demons to congratulated me – it was all so surreal.
How has the community response been?
The support I have received from Alice Springs has been incredible, they are all so supportive and think it is a great thing not for just myself but for the town. It shows that it doesn’t matter where you come from if you put in the effort and ask for the help you can succeed
What do you do outside of footy?
I love to catch up with friends and my family and just hang out. I also like to go on adventures out around Alice and I enjoy just taking time to myself to relax.
What are you looking forward to most about moving to Melbourne?
I’ve always wanted to try live in the big city to see how I would go so I am just excited to see how I will go with the change. A few of my good mates have gone to university down here and still live in Melbourne so I am excited that I will now live a lot closer and see them more regularly.
Photo credit NT News