As a professional soccer player for Canberra United, an Olympian and owner of MH23 Apparel, Michelle Heyman is a busy woman. We sat down with Michelle to find out about her life in Canberra and why she calls the city home.
What is your typical day like?
A typical day in my life starts with eggs on toast for breakfast, followed by jumping in the pool to relax and make sure my body is prepared for training in the afternoon. As a professional athlete, I’ve learnt that down time and time for yourself is really important, so I tend to do a lot of yoga, or go out for coffee with friends and family.
You’ve been in Canberra for a few years now, how has the city helped your soccer career?
Canberra has done so much for my soccer career. We’re very lucky here in that you always see female sports players in the paper or on the TV showcasing how important it is for young girls to get out there and give it a go. With there being no Canberra male team in the A-League, all eyes are on Canberra United, which is a big step for women’s sport. There are always a couple of younger fans who come to every game and stay afterwards to shake my hand or have a chat and it’s really nice to know I have that support. We have a very close family at the club and I’m very thankful for that. I know most of Canberra have my back and want to see me succeed in everything I do.
What’s been your biggest career highlight?
The biggest highlight has definitely been representing Australia at the Rio Olympics. It’s been a big dream of mine to attend the Olympics and from a young age I always told myself I would be there one day. Playing in the finals against Brazil was insane and I’m hoping I can now make it to Tokyo in 2020.
How did MH23 Apparel begin?
I started drawing a little logo with my initials and my soccer number and it’s just something that has stuck with me. I love clothes, I love shopping and I love shoes, so fashion is always something I’ve been interested in. I wanted to start a clothing brand to represent who I am and make it genderless, so anyone can walk into the store, pick up an item and be able to wear it.
What would you say to anyone thinking of moving to Canberra for a sporting career?
Canberra is definitely the best place to be an athlete. You have the Australian Institute of Sport here, which is one of the best sporting precincts in the world, so you’re always going to have the best coaches, best medical staff and best recovery facilities than anywhere else. There’s also a really great network of athletes and it’s a nice feeling being able to talk to other professionals. I’ve become great friends with the Capitals girls and some of the Brumbies guys and we all go and watch each other’s games, which is really cool.
What’s the best thing about living in Canberra?
I was at the AIS when I was younger, so it has always been a second home to me. I think because Canberra is that little bit smaller, you have the discipline to just focus on your passion and put 110% into your dreams. It’s a very relaxing and welcoming city. There’s hardly any noise or traffic and there’s no one running around being ultra-busy. I love being able to head over to any park and lay there or do some yoga. It’s very peaceful and I never feel like I’m on edge here. I love the food scene too and enjoy eating out. There are lots of cool cafes popping up and it’s very trendy now – it’s really fun.
Do you see yourself staying in Canberra in the future?
Absolutely! I see myself here for at least the next five to ten years. I’m trying to build my future here and really want to make Canberra home. I’m hopefully buying my first property soon and I’m in the process of opening a store for my clothing range MH23 Apparel. I would also like to have my own coaching clinics and work with kids on the importance of sport and having fun. There’s lots going on, but I’m excited to watch it grow and be a part of it.
To see what life is like for Michelle Heyman, check out her People of CBR campaign video.