Kaye's hurdle: “It was illegal for women to fight when I first started boxing”
It’s crazy to think that when Commonwealth Games athlete Kaye Scott took up boxing, women were banned from fighting in her home state of NSW (seriously!).
“I first went to a boxercise fitness class at my local gym,” says the 33-year-old. “The instructor also coached fighters and he encouraged me to learn more than just the fitness side of the sport. After months of pestering me, I finally gave it a go and immediately fell in love with boxing.”
Despite not being allowed to fight, Kaye kept honing her skills and months later, when the boxing ban was lifted in NSW, she competed in the first legally sanctioned women’s bout in the state in 2009. In the years since, she’s represented Australia in two Commonwealth Games (including this year on the Gold Coast) and also became the first ever Aussie boxer – male or female – to score a medal at a World Championships after winning silver in Kazakhstan in 2016.
That high actually came after her most heartbreaking setback: failing to qualify for the Rio Olympics. “That’s part of elite sports, though; not everything is a fairytale,” admits Kaye. “Those setbacks are what create resilience as an athlete and ignite that passion and drive, too.” The best piece of advice she’s ever received? “Trusting my preparation and believing in myself. Self-confidence and self-belief are crucial.”
Ellie's hurdle: “I broke my only foot in the lead up to the Commonwealth Games”
“Taking two steps back is never in the sporting game plan, but injury seems to be something that most athletes of my age meet-and-greet on a regular basis,” says Paralympic swimmer Ellie Cole. “Lately, two shoulder reconstructions and breaking my only foot have been the most challenging obstacles [I’ve faced]. For a while there, I was scooting around the house on my office chair in a moon boot!”
But this swim star has never been about focusing on what she can’t do. Since the age of three, when her right leg was amputated due to cancer, the six-time Paralympic gold medallist and Toyota ambassador says she’s been oblivious to having a disability. As she’s told us in the past, “One of my favourite things to do is beat people with two legs!”
Breaking her left foot last September in the lead-up to training for the Commonwealth Games wasn’t ideal, but she worked around it. “When I broke my foot I did plenty of arm crank exercises for cardiovascular exercise, used a pull-buoy in training and did so many chin-ups that I could probably give Arnie a run for his money,” she laughs. “I became very strong in my upper body and used this to my advantage.” Her tip for us mere mortals? “Sometimes when you’re struggling with motivation, time management or injury, it might force you to try many things that you’ve never tried before. This approach can really benefit your fitness or training and make you a more dynamic athlete.”
Your turn: Follow these life-changing words to live by…
…Courtesy of surfing great Layne Beachley, who won seven world titles despite suffering from depression and chronic fatigue. Layne dropped the mic (figuratively, not literally) at our WinS Mentoring event when she shared what she’s learnt about redefining success.
What you do is not who you are
“The challenge for fulfilment is that if your identity is wrapped up in what you do, then your performance will determine how you feel about yourself. So it’s a matter of detaching yourself from the outcome and focusing on processes that fulfil you.”
Goals on their own won’t be enough
“We’re so goal-orientated that when you walk away from that, you start to feel that sense of lack and scarcity, and that you don’t belong anywhere anymore. It’s not as simple as, ‘This is who I am, this is what I’ve done and this is what I’m going to do next’.”
Meaning will bring you fulfilment
“It’s about finding a balance where, yes, you have goals you want to set, but also identifying your standards. Now my goals are more based on how I feel versus what I want to achieve, or what difference I want to make versus what it’s going to look like.”