AJP chats with Ellyse Perry, sports star and Priceline Pharmacy ambassador
Twenty-six years young, Ellyse Perry is considered a prodigy within the Australian cricket world.
In 2007 at 16 years old, she became the youngest Aussie ever to play international cricket, despite never having played a domestic match at the senior level. Ellyse has played World Cups for both cricket and soccer and is referred to by some as “arguably the best female athlete in Australia”.
Now captain of the Sydney Sixers, which won the Women’s Big Bash League for 2017, Ellyse is also Priceline Pharmacy’s newest “sister”.
Priceline Pharmacy is a major sponsor for the Sydney Sixers and late last year released its “100% Woman” campaign, positioning itself as a market leader in women’s health.
Appearing at Priceline’s ‘Beauty Prescription’ event in February, Ellyse took time to chat with AJP’s Sheshtyn Paola about life as an athlete, and why she’s proud to be an ambassador for the company.
What is day-to-day life like as a sport professional?
Day in day out, there’s plenty of training, meetings, physio, all those kinds of things. It doesn’t normally involve media trade shows [laughs]. Today’s been really fantastic and I think that’s one of the things that’s really awesome about sport is that it gives you all these amazing opportunities that you wouldn’t otherwise have.
How long have you been in the role as captain of Sydney Sixers?
The Women’s Big Bash League only started last year so it’s two years old now, and I’ve been the captain since the start of the competition, so this is my second year of doing it. It’s been fantastic, it’s been lots and lots of fun, and certainly the competition itself from one year to the second year has just grown and gotten even bigger. It’s been really exciting to be a part of.
How did you feel when the Women’s Big Bash League first started?
We all saw how successful the Men’s Big Bash League had been, so to then have the opportunity to play in it as well was a really big step forward for women’s cricket. All the players were really excited to get out and have a go with it. Having a new concept and a new team, just a competition to build and really make our own, has been such great fun and a real pleasure.
What’s most pleasing is that it’s gotten bigger and better as it’s gone on. It’s really tangibly making a difference to the sport, just to see the amount of young girls that turned up to matches this year as well as young boys and families, who really got behind the teams and will hopefully take up cricket as a result.
When did you first take up cricket?
I started [playing cricket] when I was about six, so I started quite young. I have a brother and he used to play a little bit, and my dad was a cricketer as well, so it’s a part of my family.
I think I’ve tried just about everything. I’ve always loved sport. I love playing a lot of sports but there’s just not enough time for all of them, so cricket and soccer have been the ones that stuck. Growing up I did touch football, netball, athletics, swimming, hockey, basketball, all those things.
Tell us about your husband [Australian rugby union player Matt Toomua].
He’s living over the UK at the moment. We split our time basically. One of the great things about sport is the opportunities we get, and we wanted to make the most of that while we’ve still got the chance.
What do you enjoy outside of sport?
We’ve got a quite new puppy, so looking after her takes a fair bit of time. Her name is Nae Nae, like the song [Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae) by Silentó]. My husband named her, make sure you write that down! Besides that, generally it’s always nice to get together with family and friends. We also have some ownership in cafes; we both really love our coffee and things related to that. And living in Sydney it’s always great to go to the beach.
What attracted you to Priceline?
I think the health and beauty aspect of Priceline, as well as the real emphasis they have on women. Certainly them coming on board and supporting women in sport has been something that, as players and as an organisation, we really needed to grow and develop. So to have a sponsor that was really interested in a women’s team and supporting that team, has been really awesome for us.
In a lot of ways, it’s really no coincidence that Priceline came on as our sponsor this year and we won the competition. That’s been really cool and I really like that dimension of the brand.