december 19 2018
Healy and Kearns back Minerva motto
CRICKET champion Alyssa Healy “opened a few minds" when she walked out to bat sporting a mullet during her CAS competition days, and was mistaken for a male.
The self-confessed tomboy, who grew up playing cricket with boys, said it was exciting to see the cultural shift to embrace women’s sport in Australia.
She spent an hour and forty-five minutes signing autographs outside North Sydney Stadium after a recent Sydney Sixers victory against rivals Thunder.
“It’s not just the young girls that you see but it’s the young boys as well,” Healy said.
“They don’t care if it’s men or women playing cricket, they’re just loving the cricket and I think just seeing that shift in mentality in this country is exciting.”
A Minerva Star, she hopes the movement towards better will continue to build up for every sport.
Healy and Wallabies legend Phil Kearns addressed a room full of elite athletes, Minerva Stars, leading Australian business women and Minerva supporters at the Network’s end of year event.
From funding her own trips to matches to earning “a good coin” playing for Australia internationally, Healy says her career was a dream she thought “wouldn’t have been possible”.
"I feel very fortunate to be born in the generation I was,” she says.
The Women’s Big Bash League is one of the most successful women’s domestic competitions in the world, she says.
Kearns, a father of two daughters, both athletes, says women’s sport will attract more support, and encourages sportswomen not to “ignore blokes”.
“There’s a lot of people that are a little more open-minded in the male world who are willing to help, and do want to help,” he says. “I think you will get more help from men than hindrance.”
He believes team sports like sevens rugby and cricket will be “a real game changer” in girls schools, where he says more networks are connecting male supporters.
“As a dad I want to celebrate women’s sport. I want to celebrate my daughter’s achievements. I love watching the girls sevens play,” he says.