The role of a partner in sport


Yesterday I got the loveliest message from a girlfriend of mine. She is the partner of a Socceroo and she wanted to thank me for sharing her and her partner’s story in football magazine 442.

Thank me? No way! I should be thanking you. For your words. For being so open. For sharing with me things that are personal.

That’s how we produced the story, girlfriend.

Anyway, it got me thinking. Of course, there’s the old saying behind every man is a great woman and although that is absolutely ridiculous and incorrect because it should be alongside not behind, the sentiment is absolutely spot on.

Now before we start to get up in arms about my gender usage because of course there are female athletes and supportive men next to them, for this example, I’m using the woman’s role in a male-dominated sport because I am one. I’m married to a professional footballer and we’ve had this gig for years.

Note I’ve used the word we. Because let me tell you, while they are his legs on that field, while he’s the one that turns up to training and fronts the media and is recognised on the street, this career is mine as much as his. Sound odd to you? Like I’m taking his shine off him? I’m not. Let me explain.

When he is hurting, I am too.

When he is dropped from the team, so am I.

When he goes away for three consecutive weekends, I am a single parent while he puts food on the table. When our newborn is sick all night during those times away, I still wake up at 6.30am because there is another, healthy child to feed.

When he gets the opportunity to move to another city to play, I pack those boxes with him. I say goodbye to friends I’ve made, the house I’ve made a home. And then I unpack the boxes with him after house hunting and make a new house a home. I find new schools, new kids activities, new swimming teachers and new friends.

When things are great in sport, the happiness is contagious, shared and celebrated.

When things are not, they really aren’t.

I’m not complaining. This is our choice. We have gained a lot from football. But with every high, there is a low. With every fan, there is a hater, with every win, there is a loss.

And that’s why I love involving all my football sistas in my articles. Because, in many ways, they are the glue that keeps it together. And they deserve a shout out.

So go out and get 442 Magazine to read my latest on Socceroo Eugene Galekovic and his gorgeous girl Nancy. And then head to the website to find back stories on Harry Kewell and Sheree Murphy, Michael and Kate Bridges, Jacob and Cecilia Burns, Michael and Chantelle Thwaite, Cassio and Juliana Oliveira, Shane and Nikki Smeltz, Thomas Broich and his girlfriend Helena and last but certainly not least, Mile and Sharon Sterjovski.

Because each woman has their own story.

All comments read, appreciated and responded to. So thank you x
  • Pat bridges

    As the mam of a footballer, I have shared his ups & downs, from schooldays through to signing professional forms, injuries, jealous comments about your sons “easy job”, but what isn’t seen, is the times you have to support them through dark days of injuries! Dedication & commitment, when recovering from injuries. At times I wished he had chosen an ” ordinary” job…. But he has lived his dream, & his dad & me have supported that all along.

    • Kat Caravella – Mamma’s Vida

      Oh of course, the parents are oh so important Pat. The driving around as kids, taking them to tournaments, supporting them when they’ve been rejected or accepted… Such a roller coaster ride for everyone! Well done, Mam xx

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