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 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 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.”
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.”