My name is Brigitte Linares and I am a proud Gunditjmara and Mutthi Mutthi woman born and raised in Naarm (Melbourne). I have a beautiful 6 year old girl who is in Grade 1, and she is my absolute world. Being a mum is one of my greatest achievements in life.
I currently play netball and football for Fitzroy Stars Football Netball Club. I am one of the captains in the Fitzroy Star Women’s football team and I also play netball for Rumbalara Football Netball Club.
I love to encourage people especially when I coach in netball, I feel each player has there own strengths and qualities they bring to a team and that is what makes it so special, being able to point out there unique talents and things they do well brings them back wanting to play even better and creates such a positive atmosphere around not only them as a player but also there team.
I want to use my voice to share that we as Aboriginal women are already a high risk of getting multiple medical conditions. My family have a history of heart problems, one of which being born with a hole in my heart and a heart murmur. Diabetes is another chronic illness that some of my aunties, uncles, and cousins have. I also have gestational diabetes, forming when I was pregnant with my girl, and that in itself is already a high risk of getting diabetes later in life.
For me it is important that we as Aboriginal people know the importance of being active, keeping our body moving and giving it the right foods it needs to be healthy. Especially for me, I have played high levels of sport my entire life but I suffer from PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome) and that is such a hard thing to deal with because as much as I train and eat well, weight loss sometimes feels almost impossible. I am also on a current weight loss journey and I face multiple challenges but as long as I’m positive, keep training and eating well, I know I can do it as long as I put my mind to it.
My main and most important reason I play all these sports and exercise is not just because I enjoy it, but to show and teach my daughter that she can play any sport and be good at which ever she chooses as long as she puts her mind to it. She already loves playing football as she says, “I want to play the sports you play mum” and right now, Auskick is what she is involved in at the moment. Creating that normal, healthy relationship with sport and exercise from a young age for her just like my parents done with me is so important and it is something I plan to embed in my parenting.