Mackenzie Hawkesby has become an attacking weapon for Sydney FC, but the Figtree talent is also tackling important issues off the field.
The 21-year-old is encouraging all footballers to speak up about their mental health and wellbeing. As part of Mental Health Week, Hawkesby will be guest speaker - alongside the likes of former Wests Tigers forward Chris Lawrence and Hawthorn AFL player Dylan Moore - in a webinar hosted by her Sydney FC and Beyond Blue on Thursday night.
"I think your mental health is super important, especially in this day and age with all of the lockdowns that are happening. It will be such a valuable webinar in seeing why mental health is so important and can value an individual," Hawkesby said.
"Being an athlete, there's ups and downs in sport and mental health is a big part of performance. It's been a tough time over the last year, so I'm excited to help others by giving strategies and tips on how to deal with their mental health."
Hawkesby has been part of the Sydney FC's squad for the past two seasons, finding her home in the midfield. She said the sky blues' off-field support had helped her gain confidence on the field.
"They provide so much support for the players and the culture is second to none. Playing soccer has given me so much resilience and so much depth to my mental health," Hawkesby said.
"It's exciting to see that it's become such a value topic, not only in sport but life in general. It's great to see that we're shining the light on people's mental health and spreading information on how to manage it."
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