The first time I was introduced to Tayla Harris, not so coincidentally at a Nike event, I just knew she was something special. We chatted everything from sneakers (she wears Nike Pegasus 35‘s in case you were wondering), to her love of footy, to what her personal experience as a woman in sport has been like – all topics Tayla approaches with her signature ease and attitude. I am certain she has lived another life, well beyond her 21-years.
While some might put her fresh perspective and spirit down to being new to the circuit, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Playing competitive AFL since she was five-years-old, Tayla has, quite literally, been paving the way for women in sport since her infancy. But for me, it’s her personal approach to this topic that I find most intriguing. When, I outright tell her how inspiring I find the way she approaches many of the challenges that come from not just playing sport at a competitive level, but also within a male-dominated arena, she is quick to deny she’s doing anything special – she’s simply doing what she loves. However, her credentials tell a different story. Member of the Carlton Football Club, pursuing an already shining career in competitive boxing, and most recently adding official Nike athlete to her resume, making her the second female Australian athlete to lead a Nike campaign. Honestly, I dare you to find a boundary this woman isn’t pushing.
But, success like this doesn’t come easy. And that’s something Tayla talks about openly, making it clear her diligence, training, and her team have all helped in fueling her unstoppable power. Below, Tayla and I sit down to talk about how she is paving the way, the importance of strong role models, and how she’s literally boxing (and kicking) her way through the glass ceiling.