In Partnership With Rebel Girls
The rebel with the ribbon. Discover how Hayley used her family's support to drive her success and help her come back from anything.
Hayley Raso. Midfielder, Australian. Born: 5 September, 1994.
Hayley Raso grew up on Australia's Gold Coast. She was confident swimming and splashing in the ocean, but at school Hayley was shy. One day, the local football team held tryouts. As Hayley learned to pass and dribble, something shifted inside her. It was just like at the beach. Her worries lifted and she didn’t feel shy anymore.
Hayley made the team, and her nan gave her a beautiful ribbon to celebrate. "Wear this for strength" said Nan, tying it in a bow around Hayley’s ponytail. Since that day, Hayley’s never played without it. The ribbon has followed her all the way from the local football team to the Tokyo Olympics. It kept her strong through the highest highs, and the lowest lows—like when she broke her back in an accident on the pitch. Hayley wasn’t sure she’d walk again, let alone play football.
But after six months of intensive rehab, she laced up her boots. She scored a goal in her first game back! This year she can’t wait to represent her country at the biggest football tournament on her home soil. Nan and the rest of her family will be cheering from the sidelines. No matter where you watch the games from, it’ll be easy to spot her—just look for the gleaming ribbon.
“Don't look back. Leave it all on the track.”
— Hayley Raso