The Iconic Edition
From Where I Stand
|20 Mar|6 mins

Meet the Unstoppable Ellia Green

The Aussie Olympic gold medal winner and rugby star
Kate Tregoning
20 Mar
Share:

She's the former sprinter and Olympic gold medal-winner bouncing back from injury to represent her country at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games. Australian rugby sevens player Ellia Green proves that contact sport IS for girls.

Growing up on the Central Coast, NSW, my mum came to watch me in my primary school athletics carnival. When I realised I was a little bit fast, I just loved running. I've loved it ever since.

I took my cousin to a rugby trial and I had no intention of actually going through with it, but my mum told me to give it a shot. She told me that opportunities like that do not come around often so you’ve got to grab them and really go for it.

From Where I Stand
|20 Mar|6 mins

Meet the Unstoppable Ellia Green

The Aussie Olympic gold medal winner and rugby star
Kate Tregoning
20 Mar
Share:

She's the former sprinter and Olympic gold medal-winner bouncing back from injury to represent her country at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games. Australian rugby sevens player Ellia Green proves that contact sport IS for girls.

Growing up on the Central Coast, NSW, my mum came to watch me in my primary school athletics carnival. When I realised I was a little bit fast, I just loved running. I've loved it ever since.

I took my cousin to a rugby trial and I had no intention of actually going through with it, but my mum told me to give it a shot. She told me that opportunities like that do not come around often so you’ve got to grab them and really go for it.

Ellia Green takes part in THE ICONIC SPORT event

Winning an Olympic gold medal is such a hard feeling to describe... I don’t know what happened, I didn’t even notice the scoreboard, I didn’t even realise if we were winning or not. I knew it was close because New Zealand had scored another try, but I was unsure. So it was literally not until that full-time whistle blew that I realised that we won a gold medal and I just looked straight up to my family. All of our Aussie fans were in tears – and so were we!

You don’t realise the crowd or anything until the full-time whistle because you’re so focussed on getting the job done and doing it for your teammates. At the end it’s like ‘wow, there’s our family and we did it!’ The crowd’s amazing.

The highlight of my career so far is winning the Olympic gold medal. On par with that is winning the rugby sevens tournament without conceding a try to another team.

Ellia Green - Getty Images

I never had plans for rugby sevens and within a few months I found myself training with the Australian team. The advice I’d give to girls who want to get into rugby is just give anything a try because you never know what might come out of it.

A lot of people spend time working on their weaknesses but we in our team are focussing on working on our strengths and finding out what’s your point of difference.

In a male-dominated sport it’s taken a while for a change to happen in terms of what we get paid, the way we get treated by the media and also our fans. People who don’t follow female rugby often ask us if we tackle, or if it's just touch. I have to laugh when people ask that question. We definitely don’t hold back with the aggression! People find it hard to believe that we are just as rough as the boys. We can be just as aggressive, if not more.

A lot of girls that want to get into rugby are worried about the contact side and I say to them that I find it the most fun part about rugby – you get to smash people and it's in a game!

As a female in the sport, seeing the change it has made in our country and globally for rugby sevens has been amazing. Since the Olympic Game, so many young girls want to play now – it’s not just a sport for boys. I’ve seen 5-year olds wanting to play rugby and it really is amazing to see. We’ve really broken the stereotypes of females in sport.

When I’m not training I love to go across the road to the beach and swim in the rock pool there. You’ll always find me in a pair of denim shorts and a tank top because I’m always at the beach. Although, I actually love cold weather so I’m hoping I’ll be living in London one day. I use music to relax and I play guitar. I love listening to music all the time… Sam Cooke, Amy Winehouse…

I also have a little chihuahua, so I run around the park. I go to the gym in my spare time because I like to get gains when my opponents are sleeping (laughs).

Feeling inspired by Ellia? Put yourself to the test and take part in THE ICONIC SPORT Challenge.

Kate Tregoning
Lifestyle Editor
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