It’s not incredibly hard to find an elite athlete, but to find a dual-career female elite athlete, who not plays hockey but is also a medical nurse by profession, is simply remarkable.
Recognised as one of the world’s best female goalkeepers, Rachael Lynch is an Olympian, dual Commonwealth Games gold medallist, a World Cup silver medallist, and has just played her 200th game for Australia in their recent FIH Pro League match against Argentina.
As a part of our March Women’s Month #AbsoluteInspiration series, Rachael opens up about her inspiration to take up hockey, things she loves and believes in, the role of her mother in her life, the woman who impacted her life and her pursuit of success on and off the field.

Excerpts :

The Dragflick : At what age did you start playing hockey? 
Rachael : I started playing hockey at the age of 12.
DF : How did you become interested in playing hockey?
When i was young, i dabbled in a lot of different sports — including basketball, softball, soccer, tennis.
But, then one day, i just happened to try out for my Primary School States Hockey team and got selected as the Goalkeeper.
That was it, and that’s how it all began.
DF : What do you do apart from playing hockey ? 
Well, I work as a Medical Nurse and work in the Neuro Rehab department since the last 9 years.
I run my own company called the — STOMP Goalkeeping, which is an online training program for goalkeepers around the world.
And yes, I actively promote Mental Health awareness and care as an Ambassador for RUOK – which is a Mental Health Charity.
DF : One significant/career defining moment in your life
It is certainly the day I was selected for my first Olympics. I had been playing for Australia for 10 long years by that point.
I was immensely proud, more so relieved that I had been able to secure a spot and get the opportunity to help the team chase for the gold.
DF : Was your mother a role model for you growing up. How did she help make you the woman you are?
Yes, my mum was a fantastic role model and more than that, a huge support.
She used to drive me into the city for training early in the morning, sleep in the car while I trained, then drive me to school afterwards.
She made sure I was able to succeed not only in sports but also in education.
All that time my mom and I spent together, when I was training for hockey, is very memorable when i look back.
I am very very lucky, I had her with me at every step of my journey.
DF : What do you think we should be doing to encourage more girls to consider a career in hockey?
What we need to do is, simply get more kids to start playing at a young age. Kids love sports and will only learn through exposure. We also need schools to actively promote the sport.
DF : Your favourite “Life Lesson Quote”
There are no shortcuts to success”— i firmly believe in it.
If it was easy, everyone would be doing it. There’s a lot, that takes to be a top level elite athlete. A lot of years, a lot of sacrifice and a whole lot of dedication.
DF : One woman apart from your mother who has impacted your life
Growing up,  I was very inspired by Rachel Dwyer (nee Imison). She was not only a role model for me but also a team mate.
Rachel, competed at three Olympic Games, three Commonwealth Games, two World Cups, and eight Champions Trophy tournaments.
She also went on to successfully complete her degree in Medicine to become a Paediatric and Obstetric.
She guided me a lot, while i was still in High school and University.
Hard work, long hours and intense situations, are a part of not only a goalkeeper’s life, but also a doctor/nurse’s life, and Rachel, really showed me how to balance both.
Thanks to her, I can proudly say I pursue two careers, that i am equally passionate about.
DF : Your favourite books, websites, films and resources?
I read a lot of books. My favourites are – The slight Edge, Open by Andre Agassi and Pushing the Limits by Kurt Fearnley.
DF : Your idol/inspiration?
Without a doubt, my favourite and Australia’s greatest of all times – Former Goalkeeper, Rachel Dwyer.
DF : One piece of advice you would like to give our women readers?
My advice would be …whatever that you are doing….just own it! Be you & Be fearless in the pursuit of your goals.

This interview is a part of The Dragflick’s #AbsoluteInspiration March Women’s Month Series, where we interview ‘Iconic Women in Hockey’.
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