Kelsey Cottrell: Pregnancy in elite sport


Suffice to say, pregnancy and giving birth are perhaps the toughest tasks a body can undertake. During and after said display of superhuman physical grit, one might rightly feel the need to recline and enjoy a break.

Though Commonwealth Games Lawn Bowls silver medallist, Kelsey Cottrell has revealed other intentions.

The 27-year-old who is expected to give birth to her first child this August doesn’t feel the need to halt ambitions of competing at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games (GC2018) just yet.

“A lot of people have asked when I’m going to stop and put my feet up – but I don’t think I really have to. I’m feeling really good,” she said.

“All I’m doing is lots of walking and some lunging.”

While dismissive of the talent and physical dedication it can take to become an elite bowler, Cottrell also admitted to walking ‘nine kilometres in three matches’ against England in April.

However, Cottrell’s point does hold some rationality. In comparison to other sports on the GC2018 program, bowls is considered a minimal impact sport.

“I suppose I’m lucky in my sport, because there isn’t a huge physical component.”

“Since I found out I was pregnant, I really haven’t stopped playing.

“I haven’t really noticed much difference… pregnancy is not conflicting with my bowls at all.”

By chance and not by choice, this Saturday is the Australian Open on the Gold Coast and Cottrell’s final performance before her due date.

The Open is the final major event before selection in October, timing Cottrell refers to as ‘perfect’.

“I’ll be about 34 weeks before I stop competing at the highest level,”

“Then I just have to be right to go for about October, for our selection camp before the Trans-Tasman in December.”

Perhaps the relaxing nature of bowls has contributed to Cottrell’s laid-back character, an admired trait which is sure to help navigate her juggle of elite sport and parenthood.






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