‘What have I done?’: Jade Melbourne’s surprise call from Sandy Brondello

This article was first written for and published by the Roar.

When Jade Melbourne of the University of Canberra Capitals WNBL team saw a text arrive from Australian Opals coach Sandy Brondello, her first thought was ‘what have I done?’.

After you receive a message from Brondello saying, ‘Let me know when you have five minutes to chat’, you don’t leave her waiting too long.

Despite her nerves, Melbourne called Brondello back straight away and was given the good news that she had been selected in the 24-person squad for the FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup.

Keely Froling is ready to take the lead this WNBL Season

This article was first written for and published by Siren Sport.

This WNBL off-season has led to plenty of change at the Sydney University Flames. Under the guidance of new coach Shane ‘Shyla’s dad’ Heal, the Flames have introduced some new players into the squad and are no doubt hoping to be serious title contenders.

One of those new signings is Australian Opals emerging talent, Keely Froling who has spent the last five seasons with the Canberra Capitals. Last week, despite only being new to the club, Froling was also named co-captain alongside Laura Mansfield for the 2021-22 season.

Back to Bondi: Lizzie Welborn is ready to go back to where it all began

This article was first written for and published by Siren Sport

Last Thursday, Surf Life Saving Australia announced the upcoming dates for the 2021/22 Nutri-Grain IronMan and IronWoman series.

The Nutri-Grain series will happen over six rounds in January and February and feature 40 of the top surf athletes across the country. In a big moment for the sport, for the first time in 11 years, the first three rounds will take place at North Bondi with rounds four to six taking place at Kurrawa on the Gold Coast.

A Powerful Place to Be: Alexandra Viney on rediscovering her ability

This article was first written for and published by Siren Sport

In 2010, at age 18, Alexandra Viney’s life changed instantly when she was in a high-speed car accident caused by a drunk driver. Viney survived the accident, but had lasting impairments to her left elbow, forearm and hand.

Throughout her high school years, Viney had been a promising rower. But following her accident, Viney had no idea that continuing to play sport was an option, particularly when she was still trying to overcome the trauma from the accident.

“I play for her”: Tyan Taylor’s Goalball journey

This article was first written for and published by Siren Sport

The first time Tyan Taylor saw goalball being played was at the Sydney 2000 Paralympics. She thought it was the coolest thing she had ever seen.

Taylor had grown up with ocular albinism and nystagmus which impacted her vision and goalball was the first time she had seen a sport which included people that looked just like her. Such was the impact on a young Taylor, that a couple of weeks later she went to visit her grandmother June, and had a conversation with her about it.

AJ Jennings is going for gold

This article was first written for and published by Siren Sport.

CW: This article includes mention of suicide and drug addiction

After living with chronic pain, depression and an addiction to prescription medication for two decades, AJ Jennings made a brave decision to amputate her right leg through the knee. It wasn’t too long after making this decision that Jennings discovered para-canoe; and now she is set to represent Australia in her second Paralympic Games in Tokyo.

Making the decision to amputate her leg was a life or death situation for Jennings. Her reality had been two decades confined to a wheelchair, housebound and an addiction to prescription painkillers. She was at the point where she was considering taking her own life.

Rowie Webster is Ready to Lead in and Out of the Pool

This article was first written for and published by Siren Sport.

Rowie Webster landed in Tokyo last week, alongside her Australian Stingers teammates, preparing to represent Australia in her third Olympic Games.

Plenty has changed for Webster since she made her Olympic water polo debut in London in 2012.

“I started as a fairly good water polo player, that didn’t have any understanding of the details that our leadership group had to pay attention to,” said Webster.

“I had the luxury of just going out, playing and focusing on my own performance.

‘I was so naïve’: Emma Jeffcoat adds to Aussie Olympic legacy

This article was first written for and published by the Roar

With the announcement that Emma Jeffcoat will be one of the six athletes set to represent Australia at the Tokyo Olympic Games in triathlon, she joins a rich history in triathlon of successful women named Emma.

When Jeffcoat first transitioned from surf lifesaving to triathlon, she became aware of this legacy quickly.

“One the first comments made to me was ‘your name is Emma, I think you are going to be alright at this’,” said Jeffcoat.