Ellen Roberts knew from the age of 5 that she wanted to make softball her life – she started learning how to pitch a ball, and she has been hooked on it ever since. Currently hopeful about partaking in the Tokyo Olympics, we find out what her life is like outside the mound.
What are your hobbies outside of the sport?
I enjoy cooking for other people, and I love making dinners for friends or family. I do a lot of craftwork which includes painting and a little bit of drawing.
On my off days, especially when I’m in Japan to play the game, the girls and I love going into the city and going out for dinner; we love finding a new fun restaurant to discover, and when we travel to other cities we do a bit of sightseeing.
What is your favourite meal either whilst at home or whilst on the road?
I do enjoy cooking lasagne, but I also like to get creative with making laksas with lots of soup and tofu.
What was your favourite subject back in school?
I loved sports of course, so mainly PDHPE like the practical days. I also enjoyed maths and did General Maths for my HSC. I loved doing drama at school and also Textiles and Arts. I also did a bit of Italian and Japanese in school, which I didn’t know at the time would come in handy.
What were some of your favourite venues to play at?
That’s a tough one cause I played in a lot of places across the world; for instance, I love my home field with my university in America at the University of Memphis Softball. There are a few really cool places I’ve played in Italy and the Netherlands.
Still, I think out of everything, the most special to me would be Blacktown Olympic Park because that was the home of the 2000 Olympics, and I just think that it is so special and cool to be out there any opportunity we can.
I just love the story behind it and the history it holds; I was 8 when the Olympics were on in 2000s and I was lucky enough that my Mum had two tickets from her work to go to the opening ceremony and in my family it’s only myself, mum and dad and my dad was so kind to let me and my mum go to the opening ceremony.
Do you have any pre-game rituals before a game?
I have a ‘getting ready’ process of getting dressed, and I’m big on hair and makeup. While doing that, I like to listen to music and to be in my zone – it’s just my way of getting focused and prepared for the day ahead/.
R&B and Pop are my two main ones; they are upbeat and help get you going.
How would you describe the transition from the high school system in Australia to the College system in the United States?
I was quite prepared for my education moving into the US, and I was fortunate to go to a good school here in Sydney. I did well in school, but I wasn’t a top student, but I wasn’t a bottom student either; I was just an average student.
Moving into the U.S College system, I didn’t know what to think and what to expect with all the general education classes. We had to take English, Maths, Social Science all these things in University and when I got there some subjects were different.
I did better than I expected, however, and ended up with a 3.0+ GPA student in College for my four years. When I went into the subjects in my major, I also did quite well, so I did very well in University, surprisingly enough.
How is it going to be able to play at the Olympics in front of a crowd again?
I guess from my time spent playing overseas, I have played in stadiums where there have been thousands of people, and I’ve played in stadiums where there is no one. So for this time that we’ve had, I haven’t spent time focusing on those things that are outside of our control.
I think it will be great for the sport, and of course, we appreciate all the support and effort we get from the fans and people that come to watch our games, but it’s not something that is bothering me too much.
Who are you most looking forward to versing or playing?
No one really, I don’t think too much about an individual, I treat everyone the same, so it doesn’t matter who I’m playing against, if I’m playing club ball in Sydney or if I’m playing international, I treat every game and everyone as the same so I’m coming out and giving my best and trying my hardest no matter where I am.