Female sporting greats share their experiences at CQUni forum

Published:05 November 2018

TOP: Whitsunday Sharks netballer Danae Gardner (left) and World Cup champion Renae Kunst (centre) along with Olympic hockey gold medallist Tracey Belbin (absent from photo) shared their career experiences at a Women in Sport forum at CQUni Mackay. Danae and Renae are pictured with Sharks players Sophie Arnold, Zoe McIntyre and Danica Szepanowski. BELOW: Danae, Tracey and Renae and CQUni Mackay Fitness Teacher Russell Gardner at the Women in Sport forum.

Three high-profile sportswomen joined forces at CQUni Mackay to deliver an information forum to inspire, educate and motivate prospective athletes.

Held three times a year, the latest forum topic was 'Women in Sport'.

Guest presenters were past Australian captains Tracey Belbin (Australian hockey captain and Olympic gold medallist) and Renae Kunst (Australian Rugby League captain and World Cup champion); and Whitsunday Sharks netballer and Physioplus Physiotherapist Danae Gardner.

CQUni Fitness Teacher Russell Gardner described all three women as “a great source of inspiration for local sportspeople”.

“All three of our presenters have grown up in the Mackay region and began their sporting careers in local junior competitions,” he said.

“They’ve all continued their involvement in sport and have now diversified their careers to remain within the sports industry undertaking very different roles.

“We have a wealth of sporting talent within our Mackay region, and it was a great honour for us here at CQUni Mackay to have brought these talented ladies together to deliver an educational forum for all.

“The meeting provided a great insight into what players can expect at state and national-level competitions, and the benefits they’ve reaped from their involvement in sport.

“Participants also learnt about the variety of career paths available in the sports industry – including allied health professions, coaching, sport development officers and officiating.”

In their presentations, Tracey and Renae both stressed that individual talent was not the only attribute that defined one’s success, but also personal qualities such as determination.

“There were many rewards that came from my long-term involvement in sport – with life-long friendships being high on the list,” Tracey said.

Danae encouraged young athletes to be mindful of conditions closely associated with adolescent development.

“Considerations such as bone and muscle development, the hormonal environment, biomechanics and neuromuscular control all have an influence on the growing athlete,” she said.

“Hypermobility, tendon and ligament injuries and overuse injuries are all commonplace with developing athletes.”

These sports forums will recommence in early 2019. For more information, please contact Russell Gardner on