'Incredible experience': Mum's ninja dreams inspire others
PHILIPPA Hayball's ninja abilities are inspiring women across the Coast as she competes in Australian Ninja Warrior.
The 47-year-old Pilates instructor and former Cirque du Soleil performer made it through to Australian Ninja Warrior after months of training, and she said it was all to prove anyone could reach their goals.
"Last year I really pushed myself to reach some of my personal goals. One of those was to start training for Ninja Warrior," she said.
Philippa said she was the oldest woman in the show this season, and hoped it would inspire other women to get involved in sport.
The single mum also wanted to prove to her seven-year-old son, Joshua, that hard work paid off.
"What other way to show him that you can reach your goals?" she said. "It was really for myself and him."
Philippa has owned Oxygen Pilates at Nambour for about a decade, but before then was a travelling performer with Cirque du Soleil.
She said after "pushing myself to the limit" everyday for most of her life and coming back from a number of significant injuries, it was her mission to help other women reach their fitness goals.
"They love being inspired themselves, but also I think they like to see somebody going for their goals and getting them," she said.
"The response is just nothing but support. They don't want to do (Ninja Warrior), but they're happy to push me."
Philippa said it was "amazing" how her gruelling training regime also helped her mentally and emotionally.
"When you start training it helps the rest of your life," she said. "Once I have done my training I know I have lots to give everybody else.
"For me, the training for Ninja Warrior ... was a huge reward.
"It's an incredible experience. You work and train so hard for so many months."
The Ninja hopeful is among several Sunshine Coast locals who made it to the program, including Matt and Luke Filippi, Rainer Scheu and Ian Newland. The Filippi twins and Buderim-based Rainer have all qualified for the next round of the reality show.
Philippa said it was great to see more women coming up through the ranks in the competition, and hoped to see more girls on the screen.
"It's just really coming up stronger in the girls," she said.
"There's not a lot of us, but the ones that are coming up are working really hard, juggling ... everything trying to do it."
Australian Ninja Warrior continues on Sunday at 7pm on Nine.