The Minerva Network has doubled the number of QAS athletes it supports in Queensland since the start of 2022, thanks to its partnership with the Queensland Academy of Sport (QAS).
The partnership which started in November last year is supported by the Queensland Government and has enabled the Minerva Network to attract 20 new elite female athletes to the network across a number of new sports including water polo, hockey and rugby sevens.
Queensland Chapter Lead Dr Sarah Kelly OAM together with Minerva Network Chief Operating Officer Robyn Danzey and Paralympic swimmer Monique Murphy PLY have been focused on increasing awareness of what Minerva Network can offer to Queensland based athletes.
The partnership this year with the QAS Athlete Wellbeing and Engagement team (Mia Vriens and Michelle Mitchell OAM OLY) has delivered benefits including:
• 20 new athletes referred to Minerva from eight sports with 15 of these matched with mentors to start tackling their goals outside of sport.
• ‘Reflect and Reset’ event in December which coincided with International Day of People with a Disability discussing transitioning and resetting goals as well as the next steps for para sports.
• ‘Holistic Health for Women in High Performance’ event in April which hosted a diverse expert panel discussing women’s health barriers in sport.
• Minerva athletes performing the role of MC and panellists at events to both further develop their public speaking skills and increase awareness of the incredible attributes that professional athletes require to be successful.
The Minerva team in Queensland was also hosted by the Queensland Governor, her Excellency the Honourable Dr Jeannette Young AC PSM, and Professor Graeme Nimmo RFD in March this year during the lead-up to International Women’s Day, providing our athletes with an opportunity to network with mentors and expand their connections across and beyond sport.
“The Minerva Network in Queensland is really grateful for our partnership with the Queensland Academy of Sport and it is inspiring to see the growth in the number of athletes joining the network. The benefits of joining the network are clearly resonating, and we encourage all Queensland elite female athletes to join” said Dr Sarah Kelly OAM.
One of the five new water polo athletes to join Minerva and start a mentorship this year is Abby Andrews. “I was really struggling with my sport and life balance and felt I was getting left behind. All of my friends were getting jobs, and I still only had water polo on my resume. Our athlete wellbeing advisor quickly introduced me to Minerva and explained how it could help expand my pathways and give me a segue between the sport and life balance. I’ve loved being involved as I get to interact with some incredible and highly reputable women who have helped continue to guide and shape me towards a future path” said Abby.
For the remainder of the partnership the focus will be on delivering more workshops tailored for sporting squads, social events, and a focus on pairing more elite athletes with female industry leaders in the mentoring program across Queensland, and Australia.
“We are seeing the benefits of the partnership with Minerva, we have doubled in registrations, with the majority of athletes signing up as a Minerva member and more importantly seeking a mentor for their career ambitions away from their sport,” said Athlete Wellbeing & Engagement Lead at the QAS Michelle Mitchell OAM OLY.
Minerva looks forward to welcoming more QAS athletes into the Network, along with other professional athletes across Australia.