You might think Miss World Australia Erin Holland’s love of all things sport has come from her fiance, Australian Big Bash star Ben Cutting. But the proud North Queensland girl says nothing could be further from the truth.
“I’m a Cairns kid that was brought up on sport. The NRL and cricket are in my blood,” she says.
“My dad is a huge cricket fan. And doesn’t he just love that I’m engaged to an Australian cricketer? Now he gets the best tickets to everything.”
If you’d told Holland her career would take her from the Miss World stage to hosting sporting events around the world, she would have told you were crazy. But 2019 has already seen her covering events in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, with a trip to Canada around the corner, too.
“I now get to present sports overseas, which is so exciting,” she says. “I do the Indian Premier League, the T20 in Pakistan, and I was in Bangladesh for the under-19s women’s soccer tournament.
“I absolutely love my sport, and I’m loving life at the moment. And I think Ben is very lucky I love sport as much as I do, because it’s all we watch at home.”
Having transitioned from the stage to screen, Holland says she’s acutely aware of the body-image pressure that comes along with forging a career in an image-based industry.
But having peeked behind the curtain at how photo shoots and ad campaigns actually come together, she’s got an important message for anyone who thinks they need to keep up with what they see online or in magazines.
“I think social media is just an extension of the way we used to feel when we used to see the glossy magazines when we were younger,” she says. “Remember, the pictures are edited and it’s not a true version of reality. Social media is exactly the same — don’t believe everything you see, and don’t absorb it.
“Mental health is a huge one on my industry because it’s so image based. We get so caught up with what we look like and who is doing what.
“But the best advice I can give you is to block out what everyone else of doing and focus on what you’ve achieved. Remember, what you see on social media is never the reality.”
HACKING TRAVEL TIPS WITH ERIN HOLLAND
• Hit the ground running: “With jet lag, the number one thing for me is to get moving the moment I can after I hit the ground, whether it’s half an hour on treadmill or a cross trainer — anything to get the body moving to work out the soreness from the plane and sweat out some of those toxins,” she says. “Most hotels have a gym, but if it doesn’t, I have some body weight exercises I can do from anywhere in the world.”
• Block it out: “When it comes to getting a good night’s sleep when you’re away, the secret is to pack your eye mask and ear plugs — they’re your best friend overseas,” she says. “They block out any light, of course, but also any of those strange sounds you might hear in a foreign city. I also have a rule that we can’t use our phones in the hour before bed.”
• Don’t whine, dine: “My life is pretty spontaneous. I’ve just spent time in the UAE (United Arab Emirates) and Pakistan, and the cuisine is very different over there. And I just got back from Bangladesh. I find street food is such a wonderful way to explore a country and the different cuisines on offer.”
Hi Adam, I do a lot of travelling, and I find myself struggling more and more with jet lag. Are there any tips for how to beat it?
Great question, and it seems there are as many answers as there are travellers out there. My favourite advice comes from Qantas captain Richard de Crespigny. He says the key to getting over any long haul flight starts on the plane by making sure you keep well hydrated and don’t go overboard on the food and alcohol. Then set your watch to your new time zone, so if it’s bedtime there avoid the movie marathon and get some sleep with the help of an eye mask and some ear plugs.
Adam MacDougall is a former NRL player and the creator of The Man Shake. Continue the conversation @adammacdougall5