Western Bulldogs captain Katie Brennan was destined for a life inside the world of AFL.
"I grew up loving football and it was always in my blood. From when I can first remember, I always had a footy in my hand. One week my brother's team was short and dad put me in the forward pocket where I kicked 7 goals, and I stayed there for the rest of the season."
Playing the game professionally has had it's challenges, but it's also a great source of pride.
"It's a challenge being a part of a male dominated sport. It wasn’t accepted that women played football. Dad always said follow your dreams and something will happen, and it did. I was so proud running out onto Whitten Oval for the first AFL women’s game. You’re playing in AFL colours, playing for premiership points and it a was big step for every community not only women’s football."
While the AFL can be all-consuming, Katie has found time to start her fitness empire, KB Performance, as well.
"Being an athlete is a selfish pursuit and I wanted to find ways to give back and add value to other people. I love doing what I’m doing at the gym, giving back to young women, and having great relationships with girls whereby you can impact them in a professional and personal way."
"I like to challenge myself to do things. I set the bar really high and I want to prove to myself that I can do it, whether it be helping people or creating something special and leaving a legacy along the way. I really want to make the most of what I’m doing here."
Captaining a club in Melbourne's West has provided countless opportunities for Katie to be welcomed into the local community.
"I feel like the footy club is a bit of a hub, it's a beautiful place to come and get to together and be a part of that community and something bigger than ourselves. There's not one type of Bulldogs supporter and that’s the beauty of it. We are very inclusive and very multicultural in the West. There's real strength in all forms, from all different backgrounds and experiences."
From filling in on the field as a kid to becoming a leader of the AFLW and a role model to young girls everywhere, it seems Katie is living her dream.
"That’s something I’m really proud of and something I try to do to the best of my ability. It’s important for me to be authentic and spread the message to believe in yourself and not fear failure. Dream big, that’s what I’d like to do."
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