Selfies and reunions: ‘Fangirl’ Healy soaks up village life
Alyssa Healy, one of Australia’s most famous athletes who has won just about every trophy up for grabs in international women’s cricket, isn’t ashamed to say she’s in fangirl mode.
Healy, the Australian livewire and renowned ‘big game player’ has spent the better part of three years not only living in Covid-19 related ‘bubbles’ away from family and friends, but also playing in front of capped crowds and, on occasion, empty stands.
It’s one of the many reasons Healy is determined to soak up the collegiate buzz of the Commonwealth Games and celebrate her team’s debut as part of the wider Australian Games team.
Despite being one of Australia’s most decorated athletes, Healy noted on Instagram that she would spend the two weeks “fangirling” the nearly 400 other members of the team who join the cricketers for build the Australian team.
A former state hockey player, Healy is particularly fond of being around the remarkably successful Hockeyroos, which she knows a lot about since playing for the Gordon Hockey Club in Sydney.
“I grew up playing against half the Hockeyroos team,” Healy said.
“I tagged a few of those players in the hockey club, so to be able to go back there and see those guys and see how they do it, was a really unique opportunity for us and one that I think the girls really got around.”
Healy fondly recalls the days he played with and against NSW Hockeyroos Greta Hayes, Mariah Williams, Kaitlin Nobbs and goalkeeper Jocelyn Bartram and jumped on a photo op with Jane Claxton on Wednesday night at the award ceremony. announcement of the Australian flag bearer in the Village.
The cricketers, superstars in their own right, responded to multiple photo requests during the flag-bearer ceremony on Wednesday night. Most notably from netball legend and current Head of Women’s Cricket at Cricket Victoria, Sharelle McMahon, who was warmly welcomed in the team photo.
McMahon, who is in Birmingham as part of Australia’s Commonwealth Games executive, spent time with the Aussies ahead of the Games at their camp in Brisbane, where she shared the meaning of being part of Team Australia to Healy and his teammates.
But Healy didn’t need to be reminded of the legendary goalscoring exploits at the Games; most notably, match-winner McMahon scored in double overtime to clinch gold for Australia against New Zealand in 2002.
“I’m an avid sports fan and I’ll sit and watch anything and cheer the Aussie on in everything,” Healy said.
“That game in Manchester, I vividly remember sitting there watching it as a fan.
“I hope our games are not so close, I think we can play very well and get the result we are looking for.
“But that’s what all these games are about. There are tight competitions and everyone was super proud to wear that uniform.”
Not only will Healy fangirl and rekindle her teenage sporting ties during these Games, but she and a few teammates will also be energized by the family’s presence in the Edgbaston stands.
It’s the first time since the Ashes tour of England in 2019 that the family have been allowed to travel overseas to watch the team play, and Healy’s mother Sandy has taken advantage of the reopening of international borders, as are Captain’s parents Meg Lanning and Grace. Harris.
“It’s a really exciting part of these big team events is having all the family and the support here,” said Healy, who will also have husband Mitch Starc in the stands.
“I’m pretty sure I’ve heard Friday’s game for us is sold out and knowing we’re in Birmingham, the people of that end of town, I’m not sure there’s going to be a lot of green and of yellow in the pits.
“So it will be nice to have a few people there waving our flag and hopefully cheering us on. But yeah, it’s great to have the support of our family here.
“They are a big, big part of our success.”
Commonwealth Games 2022
The Australian team: Meg Lanning (c), Rachael Haynes (vc), Darcie Brown, Nicola Carey, Ashleigh Gardner, Grace Harris, Alyssa Healy, Jess Jonassen, Alana King, Tahlia McGrath, Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Annabel Sutherland, Amanda- Jade Wellington
See all Commonwealth Games cricket teams here
Group A: Australia, India, Pakistan, Barbados
Group B: England, New Zealand, South Africa, Sri Lanka
Your Ultimate Guide to Commonwealth Games Cricket
Semi-finals: August 6, 11:00 a.m. local time (8:00 p.m. AEST) and 6:00 p.m. local time (3:00 a.m. August 7 AEST)
Bronze Medal Game: August 7, 10:00 a.m. local time (7:00 p.m. AEST)
Gold Medal Game: August 7, 5:00 p.m. local time (2:00 a.m. Aug. 8 AEST)
All matches played at Edgbaston Stadium