#TheHelpSide Anna Flanagan was in her final year of high school when she was first picked in the Australian Squad and made her Hockeyroos debut as a bright-eyed 18-year-old against Korea the following year. In the years that followed, Anna made a name for herself as a prodigious flicker and athletic defender who, with a trademark yellow ribbon in her hair, quickly became a fan favourite. By the time she played her last game for the Hockeyroos, she was only 24 and had won two Commonwealth Games Gold medal, one World Cup Silver, been to an Olympics and in 2012 was awarded FIH Young Player of the Year. While her on-pitch record speaks for itself, Anna was also a frontrunner off the pitch and was peerless in her ability to leverage her image for the benefit of exposing the sport she loves to a wider audience. As the first hockey athlete to be sponsored by global giants Red Bull and Nike, Anna’s story is quite unlike anything we’ve heard so far.
In her typically open manner, Anna reveals her journey with the Hockeyroos was far from smooth sailing, and takes us through the highs and lows of elite sport, and uniquely to Anna, the fame and pressure that can come with it. She speaks candidly about her struggles with mental health and reveals what’s next for Anna Flanagan, and once you hear it, I’m sure you’ll agree – it’s a pretty good fit. Please enjoy Part A of The Help Side of, Anna Flanagan.