The environment of playing AFLW for Carlton has been a welcoming place of fun and enjoyment for Nicola Stevens.
Rather than feeling pressure, football has provided her with a healthy outlet for her mental health and given Nicola a safe space to fully express herself without fear.
Following her mum Ann’s diagnosis of early-onset dementia when Nicola was in Year 12, it was a complex time for the then 17yr old. Dealing with not only confronting family challenges, but Nicola also experienced self-doubt, lack of self-confidence, and put pressure on herself to succeed in all facets of her life.
Nicola learnt to overcome adversity and her fear of not being good enough and block out the pressure from others. To this day, Nicola continues this journey of self-discovery and is an active participant in leadership development at the club, including reviewing and evaluating leadership strategies and learning about different leadership styles, which starts with understanding yourself and who you are. She is enjoying applying these learnings to her own personal life and career as both a professional athlete and osteopath.
Nicola is a proud ambassador for Dementia Australia.