Celebrating Play True Day with Aussie athletes
WADA’s Play True Day was celebrated on 14 April, when the global anti-doping community came together to promote clean sport and prevent doping.
In acknowledgement of the day, we spoke to 2018 Commonwealth Games gold medallist, cyclist Chloe Hosking, and ACT Meteors allrounder Zoe Cooke on advancing women’s sport, their successes, challenges and the importance of competing on a level playing field.
When it comes to ‘playing true’, Chloe said she was proud to be an Australian athlete.
“I feel like we’re one of the most respected in the world on that (anti-doping) front, but it should also filter into everything else such as winning well, losing well and having an even playing field for everybody,” she said.
Both athletes discussed the effectiveness of education at the early stages of talent identification to help embed the full scope of sport integrity issues athletes need to be aware of.
“I must have gone to my first anti-doping seminar when I was 13 or 14,” said Chloe, “and then yearly … it’s really drilled into us …”
Zoe agreed: “For us, under 16 national carnivals is where our seminars start, so as a 13-year-old kid you get exposed to that information.”
“I want to hold myself to a high standard and play the game fairly and hopefully win,” she added.
Chloe said you can have as much education as possible, but “it’s so much about the environment you’re in”.
“It’s part of the Australian sporting mentality, you work hard, you do it cleanly, it’s that simple.”
They also chatted about broader sport integrity issues such as member protection, competition manipulation and the implications of sports betting on athlete wellbeing, as well as gender equality.
“I’ve been very, very proud and privileged to have grown up in the Australian sporting landscape and have that really shape my career,” said Chloe, “and, yes, you learn from a really young age and you’re going to the anti-doping seminars, but it’s really more than that.
“It’s about having an even playing field and that’s where my fierce push for equality comes from. I don’t see why when I’m 16 the boys get sent to Europe for six weeks and I get a week long training camp in Adelaide before the world championships.
“[We] should be pushing equality across sport because it filters into society.”
Zoe agreed, however, she does see a glimmer of light on the horizon for female cricketers.
“The men, they make the money for Cricket Australia, but the women are starting to bring in crowds and as soon as we can start to develop our younger players with the money that’s in sport now, we start to bring more crowds in and we start to bring the money in and that gap will start to close.”
To find out more about Play True Day head to the WADA website. #PlayTrueDay #ProtectingSportTogether