Not many Aussie athletes – male or female – get their own short film. But, in yet another sign that Sam Kerr’s career is about to go next-level, that’s exactly what’s happened. The Matildas' captain is featured in Nike's Birthplace of Dreams, a new short film chronicling how a young AFL-fan from Perth became a superstar striker on the world stage.
The goose-bump inducing (almost 4-minute) film, that delves into her compelling back-story, makes it easy to see why Kerr is one of the most inspiring sports stars in the world. But, if you needed any further convincing, here are four reasons why she deserves every single ounce of acclaim.
1. She's changing the game
Sam Kerr is the Football Federation of Australia's first ever female marquee player in Australia. And yeah, that's kinda a big deal. The FFA selects only a handful of supremely talented and popular players whose salaries are exempted from the league's salary cap. To keep Kerr in the W-League (she was reportedly fielding offers from Barcelona and Chelsea) it's rumoured that she's being paid close to $400,000. Not only is this well-deserved recognition of the huge contribution she brings to promoting the women's game in our country, it's a step towards pay parity between men and women in sport.
2. Her accolades are endless
In 2018, the Perth Glory star was shortlisted in the inaugural women's Ballon d'Or award, a prestigious prize that traditionally recognised the best male players in the game. But the accolades don't stop there. In addition to her nomination for football's highest prize, the 25-year-old is a four-time golden boot winner across the W-League and National Women's Soccer League in the US, Asian Women's Footballer of the Year, ESPY's Best International Women's Soccer Player, and 2018's Young Australian of the Year.
3. Her skills are next-level
Kerr has overcome career-threatening injury to become the highest scorer in both the W-League and the NWSL.
“If you’ve seen her on the field, it’s clear Sam has honed her craft, and found the kind of mental focus and drive that sets truly star athletes apart," Women's Health Editor Jacqui Mooney says. "Watching her play against Argentina in the final Cup on Nations match in Melbourne last week, I literally couldn’t take my eyes off her. And that’s a rare quality. This potential to make an impact on the world (not just Australian) stage is just one of the reasons Sam was named our Women’s Health Sportswoman of the Year in 2017, and her career has only gotten hotter since then.”
4. Her fan base is phenomenal
From Serena Williams to young aspiring soccer stars – Kerr's fanbase covers all bases. Including gender. She's a role model for men, women, boys and girls, which is pretty damn rare for an athlete. Case in point? The Maltidas' new kit (including the men's cut) sold out in a matter of hours.