VFL Women’s – Emma Mackie

After carving out an international career as a cyclist, Emma Mackie has pulled on the brown and gold to bring her experience as an elite athlete to the inaugural Box Hill VFL Women’s team.

Over eight years, Mackie raced for Australia internationally in Europe and the US, competing in world championships, sprint classics and Grand Tour events like the Giro D’Italia. The 32-year old’s cycling career peaked when she represented Australia in the 2009 UCI Road World Championships held in Switzerland.

“I know what I have to do to perform at that level, the mentality, the training and the commitment, everything that you have to put into it to make it as a professional athlete,” says Mackie.

Women’s football is no stranger to athletes crossing codes to play, but for Mackie playing footy at the highest level was a childhood dream. Born in Albury, she played junior football but like so many of her peers was prevented from playing beyond Under 14s due to a lack of pathways for girls. She hung up the helmet from cycling in 2012 after having “achieved what I wanted to achieve”. The robust Mackie resumed her career at Premier Division club Port Melbourne Colts in 2014 but she jumped at the opportunity to join Box Hill in 2017.

“I’ve always liked being an athlete, I think it’s something that I was naturally born to do,” says Mackie. “The opportunity to step it up for the VFL and the AFL was something that I knew I had the commitment and the mentality for.”

Mackie has used her strength and attack on contests to become one of the Hawks’ best performed players but also sees herself contributing as a leader of a side comprised of so many youngsters.

“I think that’s probably the biggest thing I can think about,” says Mackie. “I’ve always had that dream of making it to AFL and that wasn’t available when I was a young girl. So being able to say, ‘You know what, I have that chance again’, is just amazing.”

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