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Guest blogger: Cate Ellink

15 October 2017

Sporting heroes

I’m a huge sports fan, even though I’m pretty useless at sports myself. My real-life heroes are usually sports people, although I’ve been told I pick weird heroes.

In high school, I had jockeys and rugby league players as my heroes. I didn’t have the ‘best’ or the ‘cutest’, I had ones who had some other characteristic I couldn’t always articulate. Family and friends used to shake their heads and mutter ‘weird’ but I didn’t care. These were my heroes, they didn’t need to be popular.

One jockey hero had overcome all manner of illness and adversity, and kept riding because it was what he loved. A few years ago, I saw him at Kembla Grange races and I got all teenage fluttery when he, very politely, gave some random, drunk, yelling man in the crowd a tip. Always a hero.

I had a rugby league hero from my teen years who was my pinnacle of heroes and I didn’t think anyone could tip him off that pedestal. Then in 2012, he got knocked off. Over the last 5 years, I’ve watched this guy become a better footy player and a better person (in my mind anyway).

I wrote Deep Diving while thinking about these two rugby league heroes. I put things in the story that reflected my ideas about these men. My story hero was committed to football, but deeply wanted a family—wife and kids—yet he didn’t know how to get that, or he hadn’t met the right girl. Along came Samantha, my heroine, an athlete who’d recently retired and didn’t really know what she wanted. As their friendship-with-benefits continued, she started to think about a family, a future with this guy.

I didn’t know how to end Deep Diving. I’m not the most romantic soul, so grand romantic gestures aren’t really in my repertoire. I contemplate them, then go, ‘As if that would really happen’, and dream up something more ‘realistic’. So, in Deep Diving, I wondered if my hero could chuck his career to chase family life—and dismissed it as unrealistic.

Imagine my complete and utter surprise when earlier this year my real-life sporting hero did exactly that. He chucked his career to be with the woman he loves. Or maybe he hasn’t chucked his career entirely—but he’s certainly moving cities and has left the team he’s been with for 14 years to start a family. He said he’d been selfishly playing footy and focused on himself for a long time, and it was time to put other dreams ahead of playing footy.

He’s always said he doesn’t believe in fairy tales, just hard work, but his club have just given him a fairy tale finish after winning the grand final in style. After the grand final at the club awards night, he made the most beautiful speech of thanks; emotional, heartfelt, and publicly declared his love for his soon-to-be wife. He said she holds the #1 place in his heart.

I’ve learned a lot from my sporting heroes, but this year I’ve learned some important lessons—I should never dismiss things as unrealistic just because I’ve not experienced it. Reality is different for everyone. Sometimes real life is better than fiction. And sometimes your heroes leave you breathless … and that’s the best feeling in the world.

My latest sporting story, Team Player, is a ménage with two male footy players and a female journalist. I don’t know of any gay/bisexual male players in elite team sports in Australia … but you never know what the future holds.

You can find Cate here: Website | Facebook | Twitter

Team Player

She’s never been shy about what she wants – and now she wants them both…

Hannah Maynard, sports reporter, is sure it’s only her lust-filled fantasies linking Australian rugby league captain, Charlie Maxxin, with relative newcomer, Lyle Smythe-Jones. She and Charlie have shared quite a few steamy sessions over the years, so surely he’s not in a relationship with the young, unflappable player she’s dubbed Marble Boy?

Hannah lures Charlie to dinner and his reaction is all the answer she needs. But she doesn’t want to report on the biggest secret in Australian sport—she wants to take part. However, it’s not just Charlie’s decision and it can’t be just casual. If Hannah wants in, she has to be all in, with Lyle, with Charlie, and with the hottest action any of them have ever experienced.


  1. 15 October 2017 4:12 pm

    Hi Cate

    What a great post and yes heroes are heroes to each of us and they are different for us all. And I know who that hero is who I think will choose a team here in Sydney I do hope it is my team 🙂

    I loved Team Player and I need to read Deep Diving still looking forward to it

    have Fun


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