Sophie’s Story

Competitively I started playing sports at age 6, playing football for my local team Eagle Sports and the rest is history. I wanted to do everything as a kid, football, golf, rugby, netball, hockey, and running, anything I could compete in really.

My Dad put 99% of his time into my sports growing up, whether it was the monotonous drive every week/weekend or taking me on our local field to practice my drives with a 5 iron, he was always there telling me to finish on a good note and I was always envious of how good he was at everything and aspired to be like him but more importantly be better than him.

This is my first season playing rugby league, I’ve always been involved in team sports throughout my life and felt I needed a change from football, having followed rugby league since a youngster, it was always something I’d thought about doing but could never see myself without a football and at 28 years of age I finally bit the bullet.

I joined the fire service at 25 and first became interested in this career aged 11 watching the 9/11 attacks in New York at home with my mum, I remember seeing all the fire-fighters exhausted and beaten but putting others before their own needs, I remember thinking I want to be a part of that and help people too.

I know other people’s experiences may differ but from an early age, I have always been accustom to being the “only girl” in many environments, whether this was in a sports team or simply just playing out with the lads in my street growing up. From the word go, I have been accepted in this service for simply being me, yes it is very male dominant but that doesn’t mean much to me. coming into this job, again, I was the only female in my team but I wouldn’t have that any other way, the lads are brilliant, I’ve got brothers for life in this job, they always look out for me even though they know I can handle my own and I think the most important thing is that we’re a team rather than individuals. Times are definitely changing in both careers and sport and I’d encourage any female to take on a career as a fire-fighter and try your hand at rugby while you’re at it.

I’d like to teach people not to be afraid of the unknown or failing, I wouldn’t be playing rugby or have a career in the fire service if I didn’t take a leap of faith, personal battles are the worst type of battles and I’d love for people to look at me and think, if she can do it, so can I.