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BEC MILLER: How an 'unwritten contract' guides her community contribution

Bec Miller is running with a red football during an AFLW game, wearing her Richmond Football Club uniform which is yellow and black.
Richmond AFLW player and AFHA Ambassador Bec Miller in action.

Ask Rebecca ‘Bec’ Miller where she’s from, and she’ll proudly tell you she’s a country girl from Wagga Wagga, living the dream in the city. But with 39 games for the Richmond Tigers AFLW team, an All-Australian squad selection and runner-up in the Tigers’ Best and Fairest in 2022,  Bec has made her own luck with authenticity, gratitude and resilience. Despite her on-field success, Bec has never forgotten where she’s from and has always felt a strong sense of responsibility as an athlete to give back.


As a newly appointed Ambassador with Athletes For Hope Australia, Bec shares her thoughts in this month's Athlete Spotlight on the role athletes can play to make a meaningful contribution, the causes she is most passionate about and the importance of supporting the next generation of country kids and AFLW players to pursue their elite sporting dreams.

 

“I love telling others I'm from Wagga Wagga (so nice they named it twice). Growing up in Australia, a lot of the idols myself and my classmates had related to sport. We often had school visits from various athletes which were highly anticipated events. So I grew up with that image of athletes giving back to the community. Once I became an athlete, I believed it was part of my commitment, almost an unwritten contract, that contributing to the community, particularly the participation aspect, was something which should be done.  

 

I’m passionate about women in sport and equality. It’s important for a strong society that men and women are seen as equals on and off the sporting field. While lots of sports have come a long way with conditions in women's leagues/sports (uniforms, broadcast rights, player pay, conditions, media coverage), there is still a gap to bridge which will take some time to achieve (but watch us do it)! 

 

One way I am contributing in a small way to equality for women in sport is the constant sacrifice and dedication during life as an AFLW player. This will hopefully see a legacy left behind where future generations don’t need to sacrifice nearly as much as the AFLW players currently do and have done so in the past.


I’m also passionate about country athletes succeeding. The resilience country kids acquire growing up outside of metropolitan areas can provide a competitive advantage for their sporting careers.

Having to travel large distances to access resources, in some cases having to move away from home at a young age, right down to not always having access to attend elite level sporting games which you can watch and learn from your idols.

 

Bec Miller smiling whilst running at training, wearing her Richmond uniform and a green training bib.

All of this combined builds a great deal of resilience in country athletes, and if there’s ever a country athlete looking for advice or encouragement I would only be too happy to have a chat. Being from the country is something I have actively attached to my own identity, I love telling others I’m from Wagga Wagga. 

 

No matter where you go, good people are at the centre of the causes, charities and communities I’ve supported. If a group or community possesses a strong core of quality, hard working people they can do whatever they put their mind to. 

 


To athletes looking to make their own contribution, I would say that your ripple effect will be more powerful than you’ll know at the time. As one of the biggest sporting brands in the world says, ‘just do it!’ .“


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