Passionate inner westie Marissa Williamson was busy focussing on a pathway to AFLW when she discovered boxing at the age of 16. Fast forward a couple of years and she is now the current Victorian and Australian 64kg boxing champion, and was recently awarded the Australian Sporting Hall Of Fame Scholarship which includes one on one mentoring by three-time Olympian Kerri Pottharst. She has already qualified for the 2021 World Youth Boxing Championships, and is a Culture Is Life Ambassador.
Foster care and even homelessness feature in Marissa’s life CV, so what drives a person through adversity at such a young age?
“Not only the need to highlight blak excellence within the community but also to inspire other athletes who may have lost hope during this COVID period”.
She recently made the move from Seddon to Ascot Vale, and feels a deep connection to the region.
“As an Indigenous person and having so many friends that I now call family that are from Wurundjeri country is a big reason why I feel so connected to the area. I love how close everything is – my sport and my work. I love the culture of being able to walk down the road and everything is there; beautiful cafes, florists, shops and walking tracks.
Much has changed in her time in these parts, but her appreciation of the simpler things remains.
“Since COVID I have definitely been more appreciative of just going for a stroll down by the Maribyrnong river with a friend and grabbing a coffee from a local cafe.”
For small daily joys Marissa loves exploring the neighborhood for vegan grocers, cafes and restaurants. She loves multiculturalism, and the fact that there’s always a small piece of the whole world within her 25kms.
“As an Indigenous woman, it makes me nothing less than proud seeing other people of colour be celebrated and flourishing.”
Marissa has a few favourite hangouts, and is excited for some normality as we navigate through the process of opening up. Currently she is obsessed with Gotcha and Breadtop, and loves nothing better than having a slow weekend and indulging.
And her hopes for the future?
“That as restrictions start to ease we all still appreciate the simpler things and are grateful for having some normality, and that residents become more respectful and acknowledge the land of the Wurundjeri people by doing things to minimise their carbon footprint.”
You can follow Marissa’s journey on Twitter – twitter.com/marissa_w1902