Growing up in the picturesque surrounds of Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula, identical twins and Carlton AFLW players, Sarah and Jess Hosking had no choice but to be active from a young age.
The budding AFLW stars were inseparable growing up in a town they both describe as a personal holiday destination, thrusting themselves into water sports like jet-skiing and kayaking, swimming and diving, and of course netball, basketball and football.
Being identical twins, they shared most of their sporting experiences and have incredibly found their way onto Carlton’s list.
Sarah was taken with pick 19, while Jess was forced to wait until selection 78 in the inaugural AFL Women’s draft.
But their journey hasn’t been all smooth sailing, with both facing their own forms of iron deficiency.
“I was quite young when I was first diagnosed with anaemia,” Jess told AFLPlayers.com.au.
“Sarah remembers me sleeping all day, or I’d go home and just crash. I then started getting pretty dizzy and it wasn’t until I started fainting when mum and dad realised something was wrong.”
Sarah also started to notice a different feeling within herself when she was in her teens.
“It was almost like a chronic fatigue feeling — you’re so drained and the dizzy spells came a little bit. I just pushed it aside because I thought I was tired and sport was getting the best of me. I ended up going to the doctors and it was as simple as doing a few tests and they diagnosed me with iron deficiency.”
The underlying cause for Sarah and Jess was malabsorption. Sarah was initially diagnosed at the age of 15, while Jess’ issue was discovered at the age of 10.
Both Hoskings see their doctor regularly to have tests and manage their conditions.
“I honestly wish that I knew earlier,” Sarah said.
“If I knew it was going to be as simple as going to my doctor, I would have done that two or three years earlier and saved myself from being so fatigued.”
If you’re feeling tired or struggling to concentrate, your doctor can perform simple tests to find out if iron deficiency is the cause.
For more information, visit:www.irondeficiencyday.com