AFTER the biggest year of her life so far, Tayla Harris is getting used to taking big moments in her stride.
In March 2019, Harris’ profile shot from AFLW star to household name after a photo of her – now dubbed ‘The Kick’ – became a viral sensation, then prompted a genuine social conversation about sexism in sport.
The photo by Michael Willson had received sexist comments on social media – with the Seven Network criticised for deleting their post of the photo.
Harris then tweeted the photo herself, targeting the “derogatory comments” from “animals” and receiving support from around Australia and the world.
“I’ve got to meet some pretty amazing people, and mostly it comes back to that moment,” Harris said.
“I don’t take it for granted or anything. It’s an important time in my career, and I’ll be able to look back at it.
“I think it was quite good timing for AFLW, it was just before finals, and that’s probably the most exciting time of the year anyway.”
Still just 22, Harris said she’d learned and grown from the experience.
“I’m pretty laid-back, and things happen,” she said.
“I just took them as they came and tried to make positives out of the situation, any given situation, and that’s what I did.
“I got a lot of experience in maturity especially because I had to do a lot of things that I probably didn’t expect that year like press conferences … and live TV.”
Aside from the experience, Harris played in a losing grand final side with Carlton, then saw her boxing career kick up a notch, including claiming the Australian female middleweight and super welterweight titles.
On a personal note, Harris took the opportunity to buy father Warren a 1974 Ford Falcon XB – something she’d saved for more than a decade to achieve.
Now, the laid-back Queenslander is ready for what’s next – starting with Friday night’s AFLW season opener against newcomers Richmond.
“It’s been a large year. It feels like it’s gone forever,” she said.
“Now that we’re in 2020, I’m looking forward to what’s next. I’m sure it’ll be something as crazy, if not even more random.”
© AAP 2020