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Holly Wawn

Women + Wellbeing: Interview with Holly Wawn

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Travelling the globe competing in surfing competitions may be glamourous, but for pro surfer Holly Wawn, it’s also an exercise in determination and passion to achieve the top spot.

One of Australia’s strongest professional surfers, Holly Wawn is the living embodiment of living life well – and to the fullest. Fresh from the Vissla Sydney Surf Pro women’s qualifying series, where she came in 9th, Holly is currently training for her next competition in the Caribbean, where she’ll continue to push for the number one spot internationally.

So how did her pro surfing journey start?

“My parents encouraged me to get on a board when I was three years of age. I took to it immediately and spent as much time as I could surfing. I started training with coaches, then competing in qualifiers – basically there is a pathway to get into pro surfing, and I’ve followed all the steps to achieve my dream,” she says. 

By the age of only 15, Holly had won her first Australian title. By the age of 18, she was vying to join the World Surf League. Now at 20 years of age, she’s currently ranked 12th in the world. 

Holly Wawn

How she stays healthy

Being on her board isn’t just a means to achieving her dreams, it’s also how Holly unwinds, and tackles any negative thoughts. “Just spending time in the ocean, with friends or family, is how I keep myself mentally and physically ft,” she says. 

She’s also an advocate of healthy eating, saying nourishing her body is a priority, and crucial to maintaining a competitive edge. 

“I’ll start the day with a fresh smoothie, or avocado and chili flakes on toast – or a homemade muesli with added antioxidants,” she says. 


@blackmoresaustralia 💛🦑

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What International Women’s Day means to her

Holly says while surfing has become far more accessible for women, there is still a lot of change that needs to happen. She’s grateful for the opportunity to give back to the community, providing a healthy female role model, who encourages others to chase their dreams with passion and determination. 

“Surfing has come a long way – back when I was three, pro surfing wasn’t really open to women, and that has certainly changed. That said, there are still huge gaps in prize money between male and female competitors. 

There’s also a lot of sexualisation of female competitors; it’s almost as important that you look great on a board as it is to have the skills.” 

She says events like International Women’s Day that encourage women to reach for their dreams are essential, and she hopes to see the gaps in her industry continue to narrow over time.

“I hope to see women being shown the same respect as men across all walks of life.”

International Women’s Day #PressforProgess is Thursday 8th March 2018