Fellow Catfish Athlete and employee Pascalle sat down with us to chat all things playing water polo professionally overseas, working for the family business and where you'll find her when she isn't water poloing.
How did you get into water polo and why water polo?
Coming from a swimming background, I got to an age where looking at the black line wasn’t cutting it for me anymore. One of my sister’s friends, Holly Lincoln-Smith (2 x water polo Olympian and bronze medallists), mentioned that I should start playing for the local team, Sydney Northern Beaches Breakers. I went down to trials and the rest is history. I loved how it incorporated a lot of sports that I played as a kid – swimming, ball skills from netball and basketball, and the aggression from backyard touch footy with my brothers.
What's the 'Day in the life' for you?
Now that I have relocated to Greece for another professional season, my day is similar to what it would be when representing Australia on a camp, tour or tournament. It is based around sleep, eating, training and resting. I wake up 2 hours before the morning session to be able to have my coffee, breakie and have time to answer any messages from home. I allow 30 mins to warm up before jumping in the pool, to make sure my body is ready for whatever is getting thrown at us. Morning sessions usually have a larger focus on swimming or legwork. Post session 2nd breakfast and coffee are needed! I tend to do my Catfish work at a café if the weather is nice overlooking the beach so I have a sense of home, followed by a dip in the sea (water temp gets down to 10 degrees in winter so I have my wetty for when I want to do a bit of a swim, or just a bikini if I just want some salt water therapy.) A big lunch is followed by some relaxation time. Night training starts with an hour gym before getting into the pool. Night sessions are usually more tactical based, with scrimmaging each other or another team. A nutritious dinner and a little treat gets me ready for doing it all over again.
What's the challenge in balancing work, life, and water polo?
Routine is definitely something I need that allows me to find comfort wherever I am. Travelling or living in a different country can become lonely at times. I find having a good routine that includes elements of home, new experiences, and good people around you help you balance life anywhere in the world. A dip in the ocean/sea is always a priority in a coastal area, having things to tick off at work give you a purpose outside of water polo. The most consistent thing is the water polo. Whether I’m playing for my Greek club team, the Australian National Team, or my club in Australia – The Balmain Tigers – the aim is always the same. Train hard and enjoy it!
How is it working for the family business?
I have worked at Catfish since I can remember, helping my mum on production runs to coming in when we have big orders to pack. I would say I didn’t ‘properly’ work for the business until last year. My first real job was the athlete gear last year. I had free rein to do whatever I wanted, so I just designed it off what I wanted to wear. Luckily, you guys loved it! With being remote and enjoying the design side of things that's what I predominantly do now and when I'm back home I try learn something new so I can help the team out more.
What do you do when you aren't in full time training mode?
When I am not training, you’ll find me frolicking in the ocean with a surfboard or my cap and goggles, out in the Kuringai National Park on my bike Dale (yes, I named him) or with my hiking boots. I love to cook and bake gluten free goodies and have yummy dinners with my family. Nothing beats waking up for sunrise and watching the moonrise on dusk around the full moon.
Something people might not know about you
When I was 19 I was diagnosed with Coeliac Disease. From being a big-time gluten lover to not being able to eat it, it took me a while to adjust. The gluten free market has grown exponentially in the last 8 years, probably thanks to the trend of cutting out gluten in your diet, with the range in the supermarket being amazing – thanks to Arnott’s, Bega’s and Kellogg’s I can now have some of my Aussie favourites GF wherever I am. The bakeries within Sydney, let alone the world have been pushing the limits of gluten free pastries. My current favourite bakery is Sebastien’s Sans Gluten in Leichhardt, NSW. For anyone who loves pastries, give it a try and see how close he is getting to making gluten free taste gluteny!