Brisbane Lions AFLW x Bridge to Brisbane

Ahead of the Bridge to Brisbane 2024, we sat down with three of the Brisbane Lion’s AFLW stars, Orla O’Dwyer, Nat Grider, and Sophie Conway, to gain an insight on their thoughts about this exciting event. 

Tell us about your relationship with running and walking?

Orla: I love running and walking, I’ve always been into running as I love the endorphins and mood you feel post run. As an athlete, I love moving my body and pushing myself. In recent years, I’ve started to love walking too. I find it relaxing and a good way to move my body as well as catching up with friends and family.

Nat: From my first ever cross country in primary school I developed a love for running. Not necessarily the running sessions we get put through as part of our training for AFL but a long run is definitely what I use as my mental escape!

Sophie: From as young as I could remember I was always on the go, running from place to place. It’s an interesting activity running, and can be a very love-hate relationship. However, I think if you learn to understand the fundamentals of running, it is one of the most rewarding exercises. In recent years, I’ve started to really understand how to run effectively and efficiently to ensure I can enjoy it for longer. Nothing I love more than completing a hard running session or going for a long slow run.

Why should people take part in Bridge to Brisbane? 

Orla: It’s a great initiative to get out and move your body. It allows you to be part of something special, meet like-minded people and have an enjoyable day. Trust me you’ll feel great afterwards and so happy you have done it! 2024 is the year for running!

Nat: Great opportunity to get active, get outdoors and do it for a good cause! As pretty clear at the moment the runners trend is well and truly skyrocketing so great opportunity to get involved or why not make your first run a part of such a great event.

Sophie: To be able to feel a part of a community is really special. Surrounding yourself while you’re running, whether it’s the 4.5km or 10km, with like minded people is fulfilling. Whether you want to push yourself and be competitive or you are raising funds for your charity of choice, the run caters for a whole range of people to join.

What are your favourite places to run in Brisbane?

Orla:  I love Kangaroo Point, we often go there during our off season and the atmosphere is great. So many people are out running in the mornings and I love going to Joeys after for an essential post run coffee!

Nat: I definitely love a good run at Kangaroo Point when training allows! Others include Yeronga footy club and around the river there is also a great spot with plenty of coffee spots around post run.

Sophie: I definitely have a few favourite running locations across Brisbane; some of which are: Running from West End through to Kangaroo Point and back and of course along Howard Smith Wharves through past New Farm to Kingsford Smith Drive. Nothing more motivating and fun than doing a run (whether it’s a session or just a long slow run) or walk, then having beautiful scenery! Definitely what I take into account when I choose my running locations.

Why is it so important to be fit and healthy? 

Orla: I think it’s essential to be fit and healthy. We talk so much about our bodies physically but it’s just as important to care about our mental health also and I feel exercising, eating clean, and getting outdoors all play a huge part of that.

Nat: There’s nothing better than a good runners high and I believe exercise is truly the best medicine. Whenever I’m feeling overwhelmed, stressed or just in need of a good mood booster my first step is to chuck on the runners and get active!  

Sophie: Your health and fitness is such an important aspect of life. To be able to live a healthy lifestyle is important to not only your physical health but mental and social health too. Finding an activity that can support all these areas is extremely valuable in the long run.