Karoonda student Natasha Leedham wins Heywire Competition

Winner: Karoonda Area School year 12 student Natasha Leedham won the Heywire competition after writing a story about her experience playing cricket. Photo: Supplied.

Winner: Karoonda Area School year 12 student Natasha Leedham won the Heywire competition after writing a story about her experience playing cricket. Photo: Supplied.

Karoonda Area School student Natasha Leedham has written a story to stand up against sexist comments.

The 16-year-old farm girl from Kalyan entered her story in the Heywire Competition, a competition for people aged 16-22, living rural to have their chance to tell their story about their life.

Natasha decided to base her story around the experience she has had playing a male dominated sport.

She has played cricket since she was about eight-years-old, she plays for the Perponda Cricket Club.

“I’ve always had sexist comments,” she said.

“That always kind of put me down.”

She has battled through years of remarks saying, “she’s just a girl”, “this will be easy”. 

One highlight stands out.

“One of the first times I came in to bowl (in A grade), the guy was making sexist comments, saying this would be easy, I bowled and he took a massive swing and missed, the ball hit right on the middle stump,” she said.

Her experience in cricket has made her passionate about gender equity in sport and drove her to write the story.

Natatsha found out in November last year, that her story had won.

“I just got a phone call when I was at work, I kind of had a feeling that it was them, but my sister had won it three years ago so I thought, surely not.”

Last week, she traveled to Canberra to meet other winners and influential people as a prize.

“It was incredible,” she said.

“A highlight was probably talking to all of the Members of Parliament.”

“I would say I received more wisdom, more than the things physically gained, it’s the things you cant see bit when you do something later you realise, that was from that,” she said.

The winners discussed what improvements they would like to see in their community, Natasha said she would like to see substance abuse education for families. 

She is currently studying year 12 and is hoping to enter into a health or education related career. 

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