Destined to Soar: An interview with Health Advocate, Olivia English

Destined to Soar: An interview with Health Advocate, Olivia English

Celeste Kocabay
Destined to SOAR.
This interview series is aimed at celebrating, recognising and promoting the incredible talent and ferocious courage of our young women of tomorrow.

Let's recognise the magnificent effort of girls' in sport across all codes!
Today our interview is with youth sensation and Soar Ambassador Olivia English. Soar Active had the privilege to catch up with and chat about her love of music, fashion and tween advocate for raising awareness on chronic illnesses.

1. Olivia, tell us about your early life?
Olivia: I am originally from the UK and moved to Australia in 2016, I have already visited 6 different countries and can’t wait to visit more. My favourite colour has been pink for as long as I can remember.

2. So how did you discover the Cello and what is your favourite piece to play?
Olivia: I started to play the Cello in 2021 and soon became part of the school orchestra, my favourite piece of music is Little Brown Jug, I also like Jingle Bells.

3. Why do you champion the cause of those living with invisible illnesses and why is this so important to you?
Olivia: I started to get unwell in 2022 and my parents didn’t understand what was wrong, I went from being able to play soccer to not being able to walk some days, after lots of tests and time in hospital I was diagnosed with postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome and hypermobile spectrum disorder. Both affect how my body functions daily but to most people I just look like a healthy 11 year old.

4. How do you balance living with an invisible illness (POTS) and managing school?
Olivia: It’s very difficult some days and I have to take it day by day, unfortunately last year I missed so much school but with all the people now taking care of me this year so far has been a bit better, I just have to take my medications and get lots of rest.

5. What do you do in your downtime?
Olivia: I love to go on hikes my favourite so far was Kings Canyon, I have also recently started surfing lessons which are so much fun, I take dance lessons once a week and have started acting.

6. What makes you feel happy, brave, and strong?
Olivia: The people around me make me feel happy, brave and strong I have great friends who are always fun, and my family are always by my side when I need them good and bad.

7. Tell us about a special moment in the last year?
Olivia: I have a passion for making people smile and doing good things, in the last year I have raised around $7000 for charity, I’m also currently running a donations for smiles campaign to give gifts back to the hospital who often take care of me.

8. What is your ultimate goal?

Olivia: To always be happy and healthy, but also to spread so much awareness on POTS that I never have to explain it again.

9. What's your favourite attribute about yourself?
Olivia: Definitely my smile and my kindness.

10. Favourite song on repeat right now?
Olivia: Taylor swift every album is on repeat right now but if I had to choose a favourite it would be Bank Space.

11. What has your advocacy about hiding illnesses taught you about life?
Olivia: I went from a healthy 9 year old to a now 11 year old that had faced so many challenges I spend days off school in bed or at hospital ,I have a billion appointments every few months, I would say no matter what keep smiling the bad days do get better and share your journey I have helped other kids get diagnosed since sharing my story.

12. What would you say to other young females about following their dreams?
Olivia: Have a dream then go make it happen

Follow Olivia's incredible journey on Instagram.

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