Sunday, 20 February 2011

Soccer Mum Extraordinaire

I was recently asked to interview Stacy Learmont ,a young mum, who plays football (soccer) for Perth Glory. Stacey is the only mum in the league.

The popularity of girls & women playing soccer is on the increase. I was once very tempted to play in our local club's women (mostly mums) team when my eldest son was a junior player the time it didn't work out . My son's team needed a manager and I couldn't do both. I enjoyed watching soccer and seeing my son play.Then I fell pregnant with my daughter. Then twins ...

My SIL's family is football (soccer) crazy and they have even traveled to see the Men's FIFA World Cup in 2004 - right when my twins were born . One of the Paediatricians at their birth wore her team tattoo on her face.

Introducing Stacey ...
Stacey is SAHM of daughter, Olivia 17 months) , she also does the accounting for her husband’s business from home and is currently studying a Bachelor of Education (Early Childhood Education). She grew up in a family of 7 children , 3 sisters and 1 brother also play football. Stacey started her football career at 14yrs.

1.    How do you manage your time being a mother,studying,working for your husband and playing for the Perth Glory

I find that motherhood has made me become a lot more organised. I plan each day as much as I can in advance so that I can find time for all the important things in life. My husband Grant and I share the responsibilities at home, which really helps. My whole family was very supportive when I mentioned the idea of playing again this season, so we are never short of a baby sitter when we need one.

2.    Did you have a hard time working your way back to peak fitness after having Olivia?

It was very hard at first not being able to exercise strenuously while I was pregnant, but I found new ways to keep active.   I found that social aspects made a good substitute for the  competitive ones and enjoyed walking and swimming with friends.  Coaching was a new challenge and good substitute for playing soccer, but I must admit that I was very enthusiastic when I was able to train again. It was daunting to begin with and I did struggle with some injuries in the beginning but I now find myself back to full fitness. 

3.    What are your tips for new mums about staying in shape ?

Of course I believe it is important to have a balanced diet and exercise regularly, but we all know that this becomes a lot more complicated when the little ones come into the equation. Don’t feel guilty about taking time out for yourself to exercise because a happy, healthy mum is the best kind. Find ways to incorporate the kids into your daily exercise routine; a walk with the pram or some morning stretching is a great way to start the day, for mum and bub. My daughter and I have an understanding – Mummy needs to go to soccer training just as much as Olivia has to keep up with her swimming lessons!

4.    What do you see as the benefits of playing team sport – physical and psychological ?

Team sport is a great way to meet friends, keep fit and have fun. I have met a lot of my friends through my sport and get a great deal of enjoyment from it.  Team sport also allows you to learn a lot about working with others , which can assist you throughout life. You in addition stay fit and healthy  and have friends for life.

5.    Do you sisters also play for Perth Glory ? 

No, but two of my sisters play with me at queens park soccer club in the premier league.

6.    What are your tips for mums who juggle being a mother and a professional footballer or other sportsperson
Both motherhood and being a professional are two great achievements. I think you need to have balance in your life and know that both things are important.

7.    What do you see in the future for The National women’s football league ?

Over the last two years we have seen a massive increase in the popularity of women’s football and I believe the game is destined to only get bigger and better.  With even more young talented player to be discovered I can foresee major success from women’s football both with in Australia and on an international level.
Thanks Stacey good luck with your football career.

Women in football need support.They would love to get more people down to cheer on the girls in the National women’s football league – the Westfield W-League across Australia . Giving them – the attention they deserve.

The girls are highly talented but are yet to gain the same amount of exposure as the men even though they have been very successful at an international level – winning last year’s Asian Cup and making it to the quarter finals at the last World Cup.

The FIFA Women's World Cup 2011 will be the sixth instance of the FIFA Women's World Cup, the quadrennial international women's football world championship tournament. It has been scheduled to take place between 26 June and 17 July 2011, and it will be held in Germany which won the right to host the event in October 2007.-Wikipedia

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