Celebrating female empowerment on International Women’s Day with Olympian, Eloise Wellings
This Sunday, March 8, marks International Women’s Day – a globally recognised day that celebrates the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women and calls for action on progress towards gender equality.
At Kaneka, we are proud to partner with Eloise Wellings, Olympic runner and four-time Commonwealth Games athlete. Alongside her athletic achievements, Eloise founded the Love Mercy Foundation alongside Ugandan Olympic runner Julius Achon in 2009, striving to help empower communities in Northern Uganda to overcome the effects of war and poverty. Eloise is also a wife, and mother of two – 6-year-old India and baby Sonny!
Eloise’s passion and perseverance are exemplified in her dedication to both her training and to helping others, both of which see her as a model for female empowerment. Read more on Eloise below, giving us an inside glimpse into her everyday life and what it means to be strong, powerful and striving for equality today.
What time do you wake up most days and how many hours of sleep do you aim for?
When I’m in full training and racing mode, I wake up at around 6am and I aim for at least 8 hours sleep a night. I always try and have a nap between hard workouts when I’m training up to three times a day, I find just 20 mins of just putting my feet up even if I can’t sleep, helps a lot with energy levels for my evening training session. Now that I’m heavily pregnant and not training hard I’m still aiming for a similar amount of sleep but this can be tricky when it gets uncomfortable towards the end of pregnancy. To compensate for this, I try and not make my days so full so that if I don’t sleep much the night before I can at least try and get some rest during the day.
What’s your fitness routine & favourite way to get sweaty and where’s your go-to?
Obvious running! It’s so energising for me. I feel free when I run. I love running with a group of running mates and I love an occasional run on my own just to clear my head. The best thing I love about running is that you can run literally anywhere and it’s so time efficient for getting fit and feeling healthy in your body and your mind.
Have you always been a runner? If so, who were your heroes as a youngster and what was it about them that appealed to you?
I started running when I was 5. My mum was a runner and I used to go running with her on the trails in the National Park near our home. The great Irish Olympic silver medallist Sonia O’Sullivan became my hero when I watched her run at the Barcelona Olympics. I was ten years old and I was in awe. She was incredibly strong and stunning to watch. Her husband Nic became my coach 15 years ago and we’ve enjoyed a great journey together in my career.
Do you take any supplements, vitamins or special wellness elixirs? If so, we’d love to know!
When I’m not pregnant and I’m in full training I will supplement my diet on a daily basis with energy booster Ubiquinol – it’s the active form of co-enzyme Q10, a powerful antioxidant, vital for healthy cells and responsible for the energy production of cells in our body. It helps my muscle recovery and fights feelings of fatigue. Magnesium is also a great option for inflammation and achy muscles when you start getting back into exercise.
Do you have an evening wind-down ritual?
For relaxation at the end of the day my husband and I will binge on an easy watching Netflix series or read a good book right now on Netflix we’re watching The Letdown and Money Heist and I’m reading ‘The Moment of Lift’ by Melinda Gates- an inspiring book about her journey of empowering women out of poverty in developing countries through her foundation.
What are your top 3 wellness non-negotiables?
Supplement diet with things I know will help my energy levels – Ubiquinol and magnesium.
Eat mostly unprocessed foods.
Spend lots of time with people I love.
As an athlete who has continued to compete into motherhood herself, what do you put the increase of mothers competing on the world stage across all the sports down to?
I think there’s a greater acceptance of women getting back into the workforce in general after having children. But certainly there’s been a rise in sportswomen returning to their sport at elite level after childbirth. I think it’s great, I think one of the biggest reasons is that sponsors are realising that sportswomen are so much more than just about performance and that a pregnant sportswoman has the potential to bring so much more to the brand in terms of relatability and engagement with the brand’s target market. And in doing so, the athlete can retain a certain level of financial stability and a support network and partnership with the brands. I still think we’ve got a lot of ways to go but I believe that we will see more and more female athletes (and the companies they represent) thrive as a result of motherhood.
As we celebrate International Women’s Day this week, let’s honour those in our community who represent the strong, female leadership we are striving towards.
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