Using her talent for drawing, WBBL cricketer Corrine Hall has celebrated iconic sportswomen in a new book, Victress.
The Hobart Hurricanes player worked closely with journalist Michael Randall, who co-authored the book, to bring the idea for Victress to life.
Through illustrations and words, the book documents the achievements of 35 Australian sportswomen including Olympic Gold Medallists Dawn Fraser and Cathy Freeman, current-day cricket stars Ellyse Perry and Meg Lanning, and household names like Ash Barty and Layne Beachley.
As a self-taught artist, Hall has illustrated each of the sportswomen featured in the book.
“I’ve always used drawing as a bit of an outlet, or a bit of an escape, from the pressures of the game,” Hall said.
With the encouragement of her friend Lisa Sthalekar, Hall set herself a challenge to illustrate 100 female athletes who inspired her, which got her thinking about ways she could celebrate women in sport.
In September 2019, she pitched an idea for a book to Cricket Australia and they shared the passion for telling the stories of female sporting icons. They agreed to go ahead with the idea and wanted to release the book in time for the 2020 ICC Women’s T20 World Cup, which runs from February 21 to March 8.
“It all happened very, very quickly,” Hall said.
The book is a symbol of Hall’s gratitude for the sportswomen who have inspired her and paved the path before her.
“It was my way of saying thank you. It was my way of just being appreciative of the position I was in and showing that there were people before me that didn’t have the luxury that I have today,” she said.
But the book is not simply a passion project, it’s a way of giving back. Proceeds from the sales of Victress will be donated to grassroots women’s cricket projects and a charity called Kindness Factory.
Hall said she has a goal to raise $100,000 to reinvest into grassroots women’s cricket, and $50,000 to contribute to Kindness Factory.
“I’m very close with the Kindness Factory. The founder of that charity is one of my best friends, and I’ve always wanted a way to try and incorporate what she’s doing and to help organisation get to where they want to be. That was a huge driving force for me to have the courage and be brave to share the drawings as the proceeds of this project will go towards something really good,” Hall said.
“That, combined with giving back to cricket – a sport that has given me so much – those two things were a huge driver for doing the book.”
Hall said Victress was also a great way to drive equality in sport.
“I think we’ve got some really good advocates in the female space for sport. But I think men have a really strong part to play in this too.
“I feel quite supported through my experience in cricket – I’ve had a lot of really great male coaches and support staff who have just treated me as a cricketer and saw the value in me as a cricketer and me as a person.
“We’re starting to head in the right direction (with equality) but we’ve still got a long way to go.”
Victress: Women Who Paved the Way in Australian Sport by Corrine Hall and Michael Randall is available to purchase here.