Feature Week 20: Sporting ambassadors
Support for the National Year of Reading isn’t limited to authors and illustrators. A host of sporting stars are helping us to spread the word about the importance of reading. During the 20th week of the National Year of Reading, we feature some of our female sporting supporters from the ACT, Grace Gill, from the Canberra United Football Club, several players from the Canberra Roller Derby League and Jess Bibby from the Canberra Capitals basketball team.
Born in Darwin, Grace moved to Canberra with her family when she was just six years old and joined the Belsouth Football Club. In 2004 she was chosen to train with the Young Matildas, the under 20s national football (soccer) team.
When the women’s Westfield W-League was formed, a national football competition with eight teams, Grace was selected to play with Canberra United. She plays in the midfield, wearing number 9.
Away from football, Grace works as a public servant in the Department of Environment. Obviously she loves football, but also enjoys music and spending time with her friends and her family.
A recent ‘appearance’ by Grace on the Canberra radio 666 ABC gives further insight into Grace’s musical tastes:
Grace's thoughts on reading and the National Year of Reading
Becoming absorbed by a book is like stepping into another world. I feel as though younger generations are increasingly moving further away from books. As an athlete, my role in promoting reading and academic interest beyond the sporting arena is important. If I can encourage kids to pick up a book and experience a world beyond our own, then I’m playing my part.
Grace's reading habits
- When do you read? Are you a constant reader or are there times when you don’t read at all? I’m always reading in one format or another. Whether it be books, articles or magazines - I always have something on the go. In terms of books, I tend to go in and out of phases of how much I read. There will be times I finish two books a week and other times I don’t pick up a book for a few weeks.
- Which book is by your bedside right now?
Sitting on my bedside table is the book “A new earth” by Eckhart Tolle. It’s the type of book you can pick up, open to any page and read a few chapters. This is one of the very few books I do this with. It was recommended to me by a teammate and has proved a worthy recommendation.
- How do you get hold of books? Books find their way to me through recommendations, borrowed from friends. This is an interesting way to get a hold of a diverse range of reads and create a good topic of conversation.
- Print books, ereader or both? Print books. While I’ve nothing against e-readers or the like, I don’t own one and I prefer the traditional paperbacks.
- Do your ever cheat and read the end of the book first? Never! I’ve never done so and I don’t think I’d be able to. I like to experience the journey that a book takes you on and reach the last page, last. I guess it's called the end for a reason.
- Do you skim the boring bits or read every word? I have found myself to unintentionally skim parts of a book that lose me for a few sentences. Once I’ve realised this has happened, I’ll go back and concentrate on properly reading every word.
- At what point do you give up on a book? This answer is closely linked to the question above. If I find myself continually going back to re-read sentences or paragraphs, I’ll probably resign to the fact that the book has lost me. It helps to put the book down and come back to it another day. I actually did this with the 'Da Vinci Code', which surprises a lot of people. I read the first two chapters and found myself uninspired to pick it up again. A few weeks later, I tried again and had finished the book within three days.
- What's the first book you can remember reading or having read to you?
I fondly remember ‘Where the wild things are’ by Maurice Sendak. His recent passing struck a particular chord, as that book resonates with me from quite a young age.
- Was your family a reading family? Definitely. My parents always encouraged reading and as I grew up, I was able to talk with them about books I had stumbled across through school and beyond.
- Estimate the number of books you own. I think one of the pleasures of books is being able to pass them onto someone else when you’re finished with them. Therefore, my library is ever changing in size and always willing to adapt.
Want to know more?
- Grace has provided more information about her reading habits and her role as a National Year of Reading ambassador on the Canberra United website:
- You can follow Grace on twitter:
- To see our other featured ambassadors in week 20, select the following links:
- If you want to see the other National Year of Reading ambassadors, go to our ambassadors page.
- Other featured ambassadors can be found on the ambassador feature week listing.