League superstar living in lockdown
RUGBY LEAGUE: Star footballer Ali Brigginshaw has been soaking up some priceless family time while recovering from injury during the coronavirus shutdown.
After a huge season last year which took her all over the country, the veteran has been spending more time around home with partner Kate Daly and their two children Addison, 6, and Alfie, 3.
With Ella Bache beauty therapist Daly off work due to coronavirus and home schooling the current norm, Brigginshaw is thrilled to be recuperating in the company of her three favourite people.
The kids can't believe their luck.
"They are loving it," Brigginshaw said.
"They keep saying to Kate 'is Ali home again?'
"Sometimes (in normal circumstances) I'll be gone before they even wake up, so it has been very good for that."
Life in lockdown has been a wonderful time for the young family, which has kept busy installing gardens in the backyard.
"We've redone the whole yard, so I've been digging every day and doing home workouts," Brigginshaw said.
"It's something I've always wanted to do.
"The kids have been helping a bit but they get over it.
"We painted the cubby but they quickly got sick of that.
"Kate has been taking them for walks and I'll follow on the bike (to reduce impact) because I haven't been able to walk or run.
"I think their have been more people out walking and exercising than I've ever seen.
"Sport is not on but we are spending more time being active and healthy together as families, and that is awesome to see. I love sport but there are other ways to be fit and healthy, and people are starting to realise they can't rely on sport to make them happy. There are things around the house and in the families that can make them happy."
Brigginshaw said she felt people had also been talking more than they normally would despite social distancing.
"I think it has encouraged a connectedness," she said.
"Kate made a point to call all of our friends and we wouldn't normally do that, so it has been very good for connecting people. For us, it's been great."
Like many other Aussies, Daly and Brigginshaw have also had a crash course in education.
"They've (Addison and Alfie) been fine," Brigginshaw said.
"They've been learning and doing heaps of craft, then we'll go outside.
"I have loved being home to be honest.
"I think because I had such a massive year last year and next year we have the world cup, so it has been good to be around my family and refresh.
"I've also been able to focus on my rehab."
Via phone and email the outstanding role model continues her work at Ipswich State High School acting as a mentor to young girls and encouraging them to attend and make the most of the educational opportunities available.
Brigginshaw said she had been striving to ensure her students remained engaged and motivated, and continued to study.
"They actually all want to go back to school," she said.
"They have had enough of learning from home and they want to see their friends again.
"They will be excited to go back to school, although I'm worried some will be left behind because they have been sleeping too much.
"They have still been doing their work but they don't understand how their body clocks work."
Ultimately, the loss of rugby league and disruption to society more broadly has also given the champion a dose of perspective and allowed her to reassess what is most important.
"As long as my family is healthy and happy," she said.
"There is more to life than footy."