The Girls Behind Project Ignite

Posted on 22 May 2014

At Vie Active we love to see and support local female Australian talent and this is particularly true of the girls from Project Ignite. Created by Lyndsay Pekin, Zoe Timmers, Shannon McCann, and Brianna Beahan, Project Ignite is a track and field initiative to support some of Western Australia’s best athletes.

Started in January 2014, with the aim of creating a network of athletes who were aiming to make the Australian Athletics Team (the Flame) and seek financial assistance for training costs, the girls have now moved their focus to using Project Ignite as a means of fostering confidence, self belief and team spirit among members.

Vie Active interviewed the girls of Project Ignite to see how they live active lives and what big plans the have for the future.

Breanna Beahan- Photography by Chris Lew
Tell us a little bit about yourself, how did you get started in track and field? What are your aims, where would you like to go?
It all started when I got beaten in the 100m sprint at primary school. Due to my competitive nature with a group of friends we all joined our first athletics club in Joondalup, WA. Since the age of 10 I've had a growing love for the sport I compete in and just like every athletes dream I aim to make the Olympic team one day. 

Why is it important to you to live an active life?
Health! Living a healthy lifestyle has been a major part of my life since the get go! It's important to have that active balance. It also improves my well-being, I just feel happy when I'm active. 

Who is your biggest fitness inspiration?
Sally Pearson. Watching her achieve the things I one day wish to has truly inspired me to know that it's not always going to be a smooth road, sometimes there are 'hurdles' along the way you just have to keep jumping. 

Zoe Timmers- Photography by John Forbes
Tell us a little bit about yourself, how did you get started in track and field? What are your aims, where would you like to go?
I started at Little Athletics when I was 8 years old. After one season, my mum pulled me out because I kept playing in the bushes. I then tried all other sports but ended back at Little Athletics when I was 12. In Year 7, a teacher asked me what I wanted to be when I got older. I said I was going to represent the country in sprinting. I may not be a sprinter today, but I can proudly say that I’ve been trying to represent Australia ever since.

Why is it important to you to live an active life?
As a Health & Physical Education teacher at an all girls’ school, it’s very important to me to ‘practice what I preach’. I love being a positive role model for my students and helping them use the tools I teach to begin to live an active lifestyle themselves. 

How do you live an active life every day?
Trying to work full time and train full time is a hard task. And then add my social life to the mix! Given I work out every day I try and find a relaxed and enjoyable form of exercise. Every morning I have a new walking buddy. This way I can catch up with the girls and exercise without having to be focussed on a training session. If I’m not motivated for the early rise one morning (I’m only human!), I just join in with one of my PE lessons that day at school. Perks of the job!

Shannon McCann- Photography by John Forbes
Tell us a little bit about yourself, how did you get started in track and field? What are your aims, where would you like to go?
I started track and field when I was 5 years old, I just loved running even though I 
wasn't very good at it. I wasn't blessed with natural talent so everything I've ever achieved 
is due to an amazing amount of hard work, dedication and belief. I’m hoping to make the 
Commonwealth Games final this year and hopefully that will lead on to bigger and better 
things, culminating in making an Olympic Final in 2016. 

Why is it important to you to live an active life?
As an indigenous Australian, living an active lifestyle is so important in keeping 
my health on track.  Within the indigenous community, we are at a higher risk of diabetes
and a vast range of weight related diseases so clean eating and daily exercise goes a
long way to keeping my body healthy and happy!

What’s always in your gym bag? 
My vegan, organic pre-workout energy shot and post workout protein bar!

Lindsay Pekin- Photography by John Forbes
Tell us a little bit about yourself, how did you get started in track and field? What are your aims, where would you like to go?
I’ve always loved athletics, even enough to do the school cross country season, and was finally allowed to join a Little Athletics club when I was 11. It wasn’t until about the age of 20 that I really had a really clear direction of where I wanted to go in the sport, and that was to make the Australian team. This is actually something I’m on the brink of achieving (and am still in shock!) as I leave next week for the Bahamas for the World Relay Championships to represent Australia in the women’s 4x400m! Moving forward, I’m hoping to gain selection for the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in July. Above all else, my aim is simply to fulfill my potential and be the best I can be.

Why is it important to you to live an active life? 
Happiness! Whether I’m toughing out some hard sessions with my training squad, or walking the dog with my partner, I can feel the positive influence it has on my mental well-being. Leading an active life provides me with a sense of balance!

How do you live an active life everyday?
Training aside, I do a pilates class once a week with my physio, catch up with friends for a walk and chat or take the dog out for a play in the park!

We love the active lives that the Project Ignite girls lead and we hope you can throw your support behind them too! You can learn more about Project Ignite here.

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