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Brain Hero: Eliza Freney

May 09, 2023 3 min read

Brain Hero: Eliza Freney

We are so excited to introduce to you our latest series we like to call our Brain Heroes.

A Brain Hero is someone that we at Ārepa have identified as someone looking to make a difference in the world, is having a big impact in their industry/category, is an inspirational and epic human being, trying to make the world a better place or simply wanting to better their brain. And our next Brain Hero is Eliza Freney. 

Eliza is the the National Head of Performance and Nutrition at Rugby Australia and is in charge of keeping the players on top of their game - both on and off the field. We chat to Eliza to find out a bit more about her life, what she does to keep her mental health in check, what got her to where she is now and where she's headed.


How did you first get into your role as the National Head of Performance Nutrition for Rugby Australia? 


You could say it started in the family kitchen when I was a child where mylove of food and science first sparked. In more recent times, I started as Performance Dietitian for the Wallabies and the need for a system led approach to nutrition across Australian Rugby quickly became apparent. The role naturally evolved from there.


What do you love most about your job? 

Helping people reach their full potential. I feel humbled to work with the people I do, sport is a very powerful and positive influencer at both the individual and society level. Working in it, whilst at times can be ruthless and unrelenting it’s also incredibly fulfilling to feel like you’ve played some small role in helping achieve great things.


How important has getting your mental health right been for you and how important has it been for you to communicate that with others? 

It’s a non-negotiable part of my life. In the same way I try to physically take care of my body, it’s important for me to prioritise my mental health, often they are symbiotic. It’s been really important for me to communicate that with others - I hope to help others feel comfortable talking about their mental health and about ways to habituate good mental health practices in daily life. Like anything good worth having, it requires effort and intention.


What is your favourite part of the day/something you always look forward to doing? 

Wake to see the sun rise preview the day ahead over a cup of tea before the rest of the world starts humming, then it’s off to exercise - usually with my dog in tow.

Who would be your Brain Hero (role model)? 

My Dad. For teaching me resilience, curiosity, to be observant, a love of learning and that your brain is your biggest asset and point of difference in the world.


How did you first hear about Ārepa and what did you like most about our products?

I had the pleasure of meeting Angus at a Sports Dieticians Conference a couple of years ago. With so much ‘noise’ in the food and supplements world, Ārepa struck me as a product with all the science and none of the ‘sell’. A genuine nutritional health product.


What is one thing you do every day to keep your mental health in check?

For the last few years, I’ve been made it routine to put pen to paper on three things I’m grateful for every night before I go to sleep. Even on the inevitable, more challenging days I find there’s still something worth appreciating. It helps ground me in perspective & sets me up for a good night’s sleep.


How do you use Ārepa in your daily life?

I usually have an Arepa Performance for a mid-afternoon pick me up, instead of a coffee and then in the evenings with dinner I have an Arepa Calm to help wind down before bed.


What’s your next big goal to achieve?

To evolve Rugby Australia to be a world-leading organisation in performance nutrition and support our wonderful Rugby Dieticians to thrive in the process.

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