Girl Hero Spotlight

Ellie Carpenter

Girl heroes practise, they train hard and don’t give up.

Ellie Carpenter was just 16, still at school, when she was selected for the Matilda’s team to represent Australia at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

But Ellie’s story is no fairytale – her success is the result of years of training, determination, sacrifice and the support of her family.

Ellie spent her childhood with her brother, Jeremy, playing cricket, tennis, AFL,touch football, swimming, athletics, dance and even water skiing. By the time she was 12, she was a national level sprinter. But it was not just sport she worked hard at –  Ellie’s parents encouraged them to develop her other talents as well and she got involved in public speaking, drama and even spelling bees.

Ellie’s mum, Belinda said –

‘Participating in sports exposed the kids to losing, winning, disappointment, feeling uncomfortable, feeling sweaty, feeling pain, being criticised, being praised, receiving both positive and negative attention and also taught them about work ethic.’

At 12 Ellie had to choose what sport she was going to focus on, athletics or football. She chose football because it was a team sport.

‘I chose football because I’d much rather share all the moments with the girls.’

Making that choice also meant making sacrifices. At 12, Ellie left her friends and country town to move to Sydney to focus on pursuing her dream.

‘All my hard work and my sacrifices have paid off.’

Learn more about Ellie’s story here –


Ellie Carpenter, girl hero, and proof that there’s no such thing as an overnight success.

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