Women In Sport | The dream machine!

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Jessica Colless | First Year Mermaid | Australian Champion Baton Twirler

I have always dreamed of being part of a Rugby League Cheer squad and in particular the Cronulla Sharks Oporto Mermaids. Growing up I was and still am very much into sports, so combining the fitness side of cheerleading, with performance and beauty, that was exactly what I was chasing. This is my first year of being part of the NRL, and it still hasn’t sunk in that it is really happening, I am extremely blessed.

I am a Baton Twirler of 14 years which has made me the person I am today. Baton Twirling is a very big part of my life as not only my chosen sport but my passion as well. I also work as a Personal trainer, a group fitness instructor, a kid’s gym instructor and I also coach National level athletes in Baton Twirling. I have been fortunate enough to represent Australia 3 times and have seen the most amazing countries. I am going to be attending University in 2016 where I will be studying Nutrition, which I am extremely excited about!

Game week, there is a certain vibe around the whole week, it is a nervous but excited feeling. We train once a week, sometimes twice, with our incredibly talented coach/choreographer, Jacqueline-Lee Doran, for a minimum of 2 hours. There is a high level of expectations on the girls of the squad, to uphold the prestigious name the Cronulla Sharks Mermaids attain. Game day is a very busy day, rehearsing before the game, as a squad we all get ready and head out to greet the fans. Performance nerves kick in and we have to give it our best shot and show off what the squad can do. As a squad there is no better feeling then knowing each of you gave it your all and really brought entertainment to the field! It is all about producing a professional display and getting the fans pumped up and ready to watch the Sharks dominate!

Motivation for me is me. I feel as though every chance I get to perform is a chance to better myself and push myself to the next level. It is an absolute honour to be part of such a well known professional squad that, naturally I feel the pressure to perform my absolute best. I am inspired by the journey I am on, because I know that pressure is a privilege and it is up to me and my passion for what I do, to make it happen. I am honestly inspired by opportunity. I have to thank my support team; my family for providing me with all the support a girl could ever want or need, their strength is inspiring in itself.

The best thing about being part of a cheer squad is the professionalism surrounding the whole experience. It is such an honour to hold a spot in the squad and to represent the Cronulla Sharks Mermaids not only at games, but at events and functions, the best parts of the job are honestly endless. Working under a talented coach, working with girls that inspire me to achieve more and more, and working under the National Rugby League is something Phenomenal.

Game day tips. Know your routine, have a spray tan by Tara at Spray Tan Society (works miracles), bring food to fuel your body during the duration of the event, keep hydrated and be confident. Make-up and hair should be big enough for 14 000 people to be able to see you when they watch you on the field and always keep smiling, with an experience like this it is very hard not to smile

An exceptional person to work with would be Jacqueline lee Doran. If I had one word to describe her it would have to be professional. Watching her do what she does is so inspiring and really shows that if you work hard enough and want it enough you can achieve anything you want. Not every day do you start a new job where you feel comfortable and inspired by day 1, although Jacqui has allowed for all of us to create ourselves within the job with perfect guidance from her. An event to remember would be visiting the Randwick Children’s Hospital. This for me was so humbling, knowing that our label was looked at by other people as something so special, that even if we just shared something so priceless like a smile, it made their day.

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