Sisters in Strength

Sisters in Strength Sisters in Strength
AuthorJoel Fitzgerald
Publishedon July 06, 2023
Sisters in Strength founded back in 2018 is making its return to Sydney this August with their workshop taking place in the brand-new City Strength HQ. Located in Alexandria, NSW on August 6th 2023 this year's Sisters in Strength workshop aims to impact women of all ages and skill levels to help empower and encourage them to try a different style of strength training. Established as a community initiative, this workshop is a great opportunity for women to come together, challenge female stereotypes and explore the physical and mental aspects of strength training. In a world and industry dominated by men, it is outstanding to see an organisation that has such a positive impact on the women within our space and to see the community that has formed around that. The workshop will be run by some of the most talented Strongwomen Australia has to offer, these presenters all come from different walks of life and with all the knowledge in the room every attendee is sure to relate to these powerful women.

Mariko Whyte

Mariko, better known as 'Mari' is one of the co-founders of Sisters in Strength Australia. She started competing in the sport of Strongwoman in 2017 and since then has completed a 300kg Yoke Carry, 140kg Atlas Stone lift, 200kg Frame deadlift and a 55kg Monster DB overleaf lift. Kerryn & Mariko started Sisters in Strength to empower all types of women to celebrate themselves as well as discover new strengths and try something new. Outside of her fitness accomplishments, she is a professional Fire performer & teacher.

“We want women to leave the workshop feeling empowered and inspired,” “Our goal is to help them to develop the confidence and resilience they need to thrive in all areas of their lives.”

Kerryn Taylor

Kerryn, co-founder of Sisters in Strength has been a part of the Strongwoman world since she started back in 2016. Ever since her first competition, she has been hooked on the sport. With 50 competitions under her belt, she has been skilled enough to win Australia’s Strongest Woman u65kg and placed runner-up in Victoria’s Strongest Woman two years running. Her passion now lies in training women new to the sport with her personal training studio KSS Personal Training and Sisters in Strength.

“Mariko and I are passionate about empowering women, and we are excited to share our knowledge and experience with the attendees.”

Leigh Holland-Keen

Leigh is a longtime athlete within the Strongwoman sport after watching both her parents compete she started in the sport in 2009 and since then has gone on to win multiple state, national and international titles. Amongst all of that, she is the mother of an adorable 3-year-old. Outside of her parenting and Strongwoman life, Leigh works as a Clinical Nurse Specialist and Personal Trainer.

“Absolutely loveeee being part of the SIS workshops, it's great to meet new faces and to be able to share knowledge I have learnt along my own strongwoman journey. Always an amazing day with the best vibe ❤️”

Katie Blunden

Out of all the presenters, Katie is one of the newest in the sport of Strongwoman but that doesn't mean she is any less. Katie holds the Australian record for Log clean and press and Axle clean and press with weights of 117.5kg and 125kg respectively. She is the 5th strongest woman in Australia as of 2023 and whilst she loves overhead events her favourite lift is atlas stones.

“I am a part of SIS because I want to have a positive impact on women. I want to help women feel confident and comfortable to lift heavy weights and feel like they deserve to be in the gym.”

Rebekah ‘Big Bird’ Chessum

Rebekah does it all, she is a loving wife and mother, mental health support worker, highland games athlete and open Strongwoman. After watching Leigh and her mum Susie compete at NSW Strongest Woman in 2017 Rebekah knew she wanted to be strong like them and got into strength sports. From her first novice competition, she was hooked and has been competing for the last five and a half years, loving every single minute of it. Her titles include wins at Oceania's strongest woman 2022, meat stock classic Sydney 2023, AS Showdown 2023 and podium finishes at 4 NSW Strongest Woman from 2019-2022 on top of being the 4th Strongest Woman in 2023.

“I love being a part of the SIS workshops and showing women of all ages, shapes and sizes that no matter what you look like or how you feel, you can be strong and powerful too. I love being able to share my journey of self-discovery and strength with other women and mums in particular. I am proud that I am teaching my daughter to love the skin she is in and that beauty comes in all forms. Teaching her that gyms aren't a place to fear but a place where you can find your strength mentally and physically.”


Sarah Hallifax

Sarah started her Strongwoman journey about two years ago and still considers herself to be a baby in the sport, her favourite events are the monster dumbbell or stones. Sarah is bringing to the workshop her wealth of knowledge in the mental space, in her day to day Sarah works as a mental health and disability support worker in her hometown of Geelong.

“Being a part of SIS is a great privilege and I’m so grateful to be a part of inspiring other women to go out there and get after it.”

Elly Smith

Elly has been around the Strongwoman sport for the past four years and over that time has competed at a high level. Highlights across her Strongwoman career include not only receiving an invitation to Official Strongman Games in 2022 and placing 22nd in the world but also hitting two PBs and for the third time breaking her own Australian record with a farmers carry of 122.5kg in each hand.

“I love being a coach for Sisters In Strength because I am passionate about giving back to the community that has given me the confidence to be the woman and athlete I am today. I love seeing other women become empowered and motivated to reach their true potential physically, mentally and spiritually.”

Red Wiard

Adding to the stacked list of presenters we have another athlete with around a decade's experience in strength sports. Initially starting her weight loss journey with cardio she discovered a love for heavy lifting, competing in CrossFit and later powerlifting before moving over to Strongwoman. During this time her accolades include winning three national titles, a QLD state title and competing at competitions like USS women’s world pro and the Arnolds in South Africa and lifting the Dinnie stones. Since February 2023 Red has been focusing on Olympic lifting and placed 1st at the masters weightlifting national championships in June. Outside of all this, she is a Registered Nurse with a master's degree in mental health. She supports veterans with complex needs and also works part-time in the Army reserves as a nursing officer.

“I love giving back to the sport and showing other women of all ages and abilities to push the limits of physical and mental strength. It is great to see women achieve something they never thought possible with some positive coaching in a relaxed environment. Mindset component contributes to helping women build resilience to hardships, set goals and break down stereotypes.”


Tickets can be found at Sisters in Strength City Strength Sydney For more information on Sisters In Strength Australia visit

To watch “Strong Women” visit
AuthorJoel Fitzgerald
Publishedon July 06, 2023