Hopscotch Heroes has previously featured high-flying business women, thought leaders, entrepreneurs, multinational business owners, international bloggers and authors....but, strangely, no sports women! Until now...
The very first women-only pro and pro-am golf event in the region, The Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Open takes place from 1st to 4th November and attracts women golfers from across the globe. It's a true family event perfect for a day out with heaps to engage the little ones in a beautiful setting on Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi. As many of the players are also mamas themselves - traveling regularly for their sport, career and, ultimately, passion - we are very excited to have exclusive access to four of the key women on the global tour.
Minea Blomqvist, Liz Young, Linda Wessberg and Catriona Matthew share their work/life/family balance secrets below as part of a Hopscotch Heroes bumper special...take it away, ladies!
Hopscotch: Hello ladies! So, we know you are all professional golfers, some of you having been on the circuit for over 20 years, but what about your family lives?
Minea: Hello! So, I'm married with a seven year old, Elmo, who's now at school. We also have both of our grand parents helping out, so we feel quite organised at the moment!
Liz: Hi! I'm Liz and there are three of us - myself, my husband and our 11 month old daughter. So the dynamic has changed recently and we're adapting to that!
Linda: So I'm married and have one daughter, Sigrid, she is just 2 now. I try to juggle as much as possible, so I can go practice as much as I need to. During the day Sigrid is at day-care from 9 to 4 and when we are travelling we get a lot of help from our parents.
Catriona: We have two daughters: Katie and Sophie who are 10 and 8. My husband used to travel with me and caddie and our daughters travelled the tour with us until they started school. They now stay at home with Graeme and go to school in Scotland.
Hopscotch: So you all have quite a juggling act, often with family members pitching in and helping out. What are the biggest challenges you've faced where this balance is concerned?
Catriona: The biggest challenge for me is being away from home so much. So I plan very carefully - I have a schedule so that I am not away for more than 3 weeks and then home for at least 2 weeks at a time.
Linda: For me it's simply that I can’t be as selfish as I used to be! It was all my schedule before and now it is all my daughter's schedule. I think it is also very tough to go away to tournaments, when I leave I find it really hard but once a month we can skype and facetime. Now she is getting older it is getting both easier and harder. Now she can talk, she can express that she misses you which breaks my heart, but is easier because of that communication. The toughest part is leaving, but I know she is in good hands!
Liz: Yes, I agree trying to balance work and family! Obviously I want to spend as much time as possible with my daughter and my husband, but I also want to work and play golf. It's about juggling the 24 hours in the day - being with my daughter and husband, practicing on the golf course and getting some time to sleep!
Hopscotch: So tell us, what is it that really keeps you going? What do use when times get tough?
Liz: Well I'd say my approach is through motivation - I have got a daughter now and want to provide for her. I want to support my husband as well, so being out here trying to win each week they are always my inspiration and that's what keeps me going.
Catriona: I'm personally motivated by the thrill of the competition and the challenge of always pushing yourself and seeing if you can improve.
Linda: Stubbornness, I guess, I am very stubborn! But really I try and enjoy myself and have fun as much as possible. The last couple of years, before I had Sigrid, it was quite rough - I broke my arm and it was a tough couple of years there. From now on I am still going to try to win tournaments, but I am going to try and enjoy it more than I used to, too.
Minea: Yes, I agree - now I'm a little older, I have really started appreciating this game. At this time I love golf and I appreciate that I can do this as my job. That makes me happy and motivates me.
Hopscotch will be supporting the ladies as they take to the greens next week and if you'd like to see the action for free at the Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Open from November 1st to 4th, find out more right here. We hope to see you there!