Moana Hope is no ordinary athlete. At 29 years old, she works and trains for an astonishing 20 hours each day.
That arduous schedule includes holding the position of marquee player for Collingwood FC in the AFL Women's competition, running her own traffic management business and acting as the primary carer for her younger sister. Lavinia 'Vinnie' Hope was born with Moebius Syndrome. Moana Hope has also recently released an autobiography of her life to date.
Hope's achievements prove she is driven, successful and kind -- but most strikingly, the AFLW player is modest.
"I've never looked at myself and gone, 'They all say you're amazing so you must be amazing,'" Hope said.
"I play football because I love it, and I live life because I'm passionate about the things that I do in life, and my family. And if that inspires young girls or boys, or adults, to follow their dream or do what inspires them, that makes me happy, but I don't ever want to sit there and go 'I'm above you, so you look up to me'."
Hope is arguably one of the most familiar faces of women's AFL. Collingwood was one of the eight teams in the inaugural AFL Women's competition, which kicked off in February 2017; the team finished in fifth position. The competition will return in 2018. In 2019 it will expand to include new teams.
And while she may be too modest to admit it directly, her success as a women's AFL player -- and no doubt her work ethic -- is already influencing younger generations.
"I did some filming a few months back and a young girl was one set turned around and said to me 'I'm going to take your spot in 10 years,'" Hope said.
It's something that brings the athlete and businesswoman no small amount of joy.
"That's amazing, she's seven, she's thinking about AFL women's. She's got it planned out. That is phenomenal. Moving forward, if that young girl gets to play football full time, for a living, I'm pretty happy about that."
At Johnnie Walker, we love sharing stories of personal progress, innovation and spirit. And why wouldn't we? Our own story is one of a pioneering spirit passed on from generation to generation. It's this belief in the philosophy of perseverance and progress that allows us to continuously share inspiring stories to all.
In this series, we are shining a light on people who approach life with this same philosophy – one of a humane, resilient and optimistic mindset, especially in the face of adversity that enables them to Keep Walking.Suggest a correction