24 hours with Women’s Health editor Jacqui Mooney

In this 24 hours with, Women's Health editor Jacqui Mooney talks acrobatics, working the red carpet and the December issue.


Wake up to pre-alarm, jump out of bed, and start the day with a quick 20-minute yoga session to get zen for the crazy 48 hours ahead (Yes, really! Early exercise has been part of my routine for so long, it’s second nature). The countdown is on until tonight’s sit-down Women’s Health Women in Sport Awards. In a crazy coincidence, I’m also presenting at the NSW Office of Sport’s industry forum bright and early tomorrow. Stamina and a few extra shots in my coffee will definitely be needed!


Arrive at office. Battery-packed coffee and chia breakfast pot ordered. Will enjoy whilst getting through the constant stream of emails. Simultaneously make a few last-minute tweaks to the running order, seating plan and MC/speech notes for tonight.


Quick catch-up with our digital team about content for tonight – Facebook Lives, Insta stories, the lot. Sorted. High-five to all concerned for securing such a great roster of talent and sporting stars.


Yep, the December issue of Women’s Health is also sending today! Task: Sign-off a mountain of finals and proofs. As per usual, my amazing editorial team have worked like demons to get the issue ready early. And that’s on top of organising a massive shoot with elite athletes, nominees and guests backstage tonight while the awards ceremony is taking place. #dreamteam


Put the finishing touches on my presentation for tomorrow’s government forum. Topic? Why women in sport is a whole new ball game. With the historic launch of AFL Women’s, The Matildas blitzing it on the world stage, the Women’s Big Bash League and the Super Netball (among many other highlights) there’s lots to talk about.


Catch up with the entire team to go through the run-order, along with the ins and outs of tonight. Make final tweaks to the seating plan – it’s like a game of tetris. Literally! Thank god for blu tack.


Our CEO swings by the Women’s Health office to chew the fat, and wish us luck for tonight. Nice touch. (No pressure!)


Field a call from our PR department. Great news! The Daily Telegraph is sending a snapper to shoot six of our invited athletes, and run a piece on the incredible rise of women in sport. Rearrange the hair and make-up schedule, call my creative director to find a suitable on-location spot, then start the hunt for sporting props. Including a snowboard! On a totally unrelated call, my husband mentions he has one gathering dust at home. He jumps in the car, drives home to grab it, then races to Pacific and straps it to the roof of my car. Crisis averted!


Arrive at the International Convention Centre and catch up on how things are travelling with the publicity, marketing and ad teams. Quick chat with our creative director and photographer Steve Baccon, who arrives to start constructing the set for tonight’s WinS shoot.


Hair and make-up thanks to the glam squad from Blow Bar Co. Check emails while enjoying a much-needed half hour sitting down! Request extra concealer to cover up the late nights and early starts.


Sound check and run-through of our video montages with MC Sunrise’s Mark Beretta (a long-time supporter of the Women in Sport Awards). Followed by a final run-through with the Women’s Health team on their roles and responsibilities for the night. Quickly change into my Rachel Gilbert dress backstage. Almost show-time!


Meet Women’s Health general manager Jackie Frank and do a quick final check of the room, along with the installation for our major sponsor, Toyota. A gleaming new Toyota CH-R will be the high-tech centerpiece of our pre-event space. Along with feats of mobility and physical strength from two dancers who (by the looks of their jaw-dropping rehearsal) will have the whole crowd in awe at their acrobatics over pre-dinner champagnes.


Guests start arriving and the red carpet kicks off. The crew from 7 News work alongside Mel McLaughlin to conduct live crosses for that evening’s sports report. Jackie and I tag-team to greet guests as they stream in, with some of the biggest names in sport attending, including Olympians Danielle Scott, Shelley Watts, Jess Fox and Sally Pearson, para-athlete Joany Badenhorst, AFL star Daisy Pearce (nominated for Leadership Legend), Sam Kerr and many more.

Jackie Frank, Shelley Watts and Jacqui-Mooney at the Women in Sports Awards


Breathe. Ready for the big event ‘moment’. The curtains to our dining room are dramatically pulled back, and guests are ushered to their seats in our opulent dining room filled with four long, candle-strewn tables.


The award ceremony kicks off, and rolls out as dinner is served. AFL legend Susan Alberti (named Person of Sporting Influence) charms the room with her acceptance speech. The Matildas bring the house down when they’re announced A-Team of the Year. The entire audience goes quiet when sprinting legend the late Betty Cuthbert is inducted into the Hall of Fame. And Sam Kerr gets a standing ovation when she’s named 2017 Women’s Health Sportswoman of the Year.


With the formalities done and dusted, the mingling and dessert canapés commence! First stop? The team from Toyota who’ve flown to Sydney especially for the event. We share a celebratory drink and chat about the year ahead.


The guaranteed sign of a good event? When we eventually have to turn the lights on! Our hard-working PR team head back to the office to edit and place our red carpet shots.


Finally drive into my garage at home. Spend an hour scrolling through social media and all the incredible coverage that’s started rolling in. At 1am, finally force myself into bed, exhausted but happy. Bring on the Women in Sport Awards 2018!


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