Sport

Kelsey-Lee Roberts and Lauren Wells trade Olympic Games dreams with Serena Williams

Hurdling, javelin and tennis seem worlds apart when it comes to prizemoney, fame and training.

But Canberra duo Lauren Wells and Kelsey-Lee Roberts have found a common link with tennis champion Serena Williams as they chase the same goal – Olympic Games glory.

Serena Williams passed on some Olympic inspiration to Kelsey-Lee Roberts and Lauren Wells.
Serena Williams passed on some Olympic inspiration to Kelsey-Lee Roberts and Lauren Wells. 

"When we were speaking to her, she said the first thing she would grab if her house was on fire would be her Olympic medals," Wells said.

 
Kelsey-Lee Roberts.
Kelsey-Lee Roberts. Photo: Jay Cronan

See six-time Australian Open champion and Berlei Ambassador Serena Williams catch up with Aussie athletes Lauren Wells (hurdles), Kelsey-Lee Roberts (javelin), Erin Phillips (basketball) and Tiana Penitani (rugby 7s) as they talk about the latest campaign – The Boss of Bounce – from the #AIS sponsor. Experience AIS Berlei Serena Williams Tiana Penitani Erin Phillips Tennis Australia Athletics Australia Basketball Australia Australian Jayco Opals Australian Rugby Union Australian Open #tennis #WomeninSport

Posted by Australian Institute of Sport on Sunday, January 31, 2016

"That was really inspiring to hear. She's achieved so much, but she really values the Olympic medal she won. She said growing up she never thought she would have the chance to win gold medals – it was all about grand slams.

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"So it was refreshing, that even though she has so many titles, she holds Olympic medals quite dearly to her."

Hurdler Wells, javelin star Roberts and 21-time grand slam champion Williams were in Melbourne for a photo shoot for the Berlei bras "The Boss of Bounce" campaign.

Lauren Wells will race at the ACT championships this weekend.
Lauren Wells will race at the ACT championships this weekend. Photo: Getty Images

Wells, Roberts, rugby sevens star Tiana Penitani and Australian Opals guard Erin Phillips were invited as part of the AIS program and promotion in January.

But what shocked Wells and Roberts most was how highly Williams spoke of her Olympic experience and the four gold medals she has won since 2000.

The trio have already planned to meet up at the Rio Olympics later this year to exchange country pins. "We said we would come and find her, then she said she'd come and find us first," Wells laughed.

Roberts added: "We talked about the bras and then we were talking about our sports, then the cameras went off and we started chatting about the Olympics

"She spoke really highly about the Olympics and that was awesome ...  For her to say the Olympics was one of her most amazing experiences, that's huge.

"That puts it all in perspective and gets the excitement going for the Olympics."

Williams' words of encouragement have added Olympic inspiration to the Canberra pair and her words will be ringing in their ears at the ACT Athletics championships, which start on Friday.

More than 500 athletes will converge on the AIS track for the three-day event to be boosted by the IPC grand prix.

Olympic debutant Roberts is still deciding whether she will compete this weekend or wait for the Canberra Track Classic next weekend.

Wells clocked a personal best time for starting the season last week, and hopes that form can continue as she sets her sights on her second Olympics.

"That start was a bit unexpected, I didn't think I would run that fast so I was happy with my ability to execute. It's the fastest I've ever run for my first race of the season," Wells said.

"I'm not getting ahead of myself, but that was exciting. It's just nice to see the training is coming along really well, it's a big two months coming up leading into nationals."

ATHLETICS

Friday-Sunday: ACT Athletics championships and IPC grand prix at AIS Track