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Development   /  Tsu Shan Chambers

The Women of Steel

The world’s most unlikely athletes take on one of the world's toughest challenges as Women of Steel.


Impact areas




  • DIRECTOR To Be Advised

  • PRODUCER Tsu Shan Chambers



The world’s most unlikely athletes: couch potatoes, the morbidly obese, mentally ill, domestic violence victims, “too busy” Mums with disabled children. One thing in common: they can’t run, bike or swim. So why the hell are they taking on one of the world’s toughest challenges? We’re not sure either but we’re going to find out. Welcome to the Women of Steel.

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0% funded
  • $60,000.00

  • $0.00

  • 31st December 2021

  • 0

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Issue Summary

A short summary of the issue the documentary is addressing

The Women of Steel are different – culturally, financially and where they live in Sydney. They have all experienced heartbreak and challenges that most of us may only hear about on A Current Affair. Their issues are untold due to plain embarrassment and stigma. But these women are ready to stop hiding – they want to tell their stories – about being 100kg heavier, a victim of domestic violence, being a self-confessed mental nut-job, having (more than one) addiction and having a child with a disability.

Ours is truly a message of tolerance and inclusion.


What is the impact vision statement of the documentary?

The project also aims to support those who work in the areas where they assist others build self-esteem and move beyond situations that prevent them from experiencing life of social equity, wellness and freedom from painful addictions and circumstances. By providing real life examples of possibility through this documentary, this group are also providing a tool that can be leveraged in their work.


What outcomes does the project hope to achieve from making this documentary?

Narelle Lee, who founded this project was a 50 year old ‘back of the pack’ athlete in WA at her first Ironman triathlon. She knows first-hand the roller coaster journey that each woman will experience during their preparation. It’s hard enough for a ‘normal’ person, let alone these women with all their life baggage and current challenges. They will most likely reach depths of frustration, physical pain, fatigue and despair. But, we hope to also see euphoric highs where courage and persistence shine though.

We want this doco to show how one woman’s vision brings transformational change to those who embrace this crazy challenge. That they too can shine brightly and light a path for others around Australia, and the world to follow. If these unlikely athletes can do it – anyone can.


How will this documentary achieve its outcomes?

The first part of the documentary is the “start” of the women’s journey, uncovering the powerful background stories of each of them and their families (if applicable) and their big WHY of being part of The Women of Steel Project. It is through the vulnerability, diversity and plain humanity of these women that most people in the audience will be able to relate to their lives in some way or form.

The middle section shot over 3 months, will show the Women of Steel commencing training, reveal what challenges or small steps towards success they encounter and importantly how they deal with whatever they face individually and as a team.

Finally, the last section will show the Women of Steel making it to the start line of the big race, a glimpse of them competing and the outcome.


How will partnerships with this project help inform the project development?

During their journey the women will be mentored/coached by founder, Narelle Lee and hopefully Louise McKinlay, who was number 2 inductee into Triathlon Hall of Fame. Louise was regarded in those early years as the Queen of Australian Triathlon with an amazing career at all distances and top 10 performances at Kona. We are currently in discussions with her.

Audience Engagement and Social Impact

What actions does this project hope for its viewers after seeing this film?

Be inspired to do something in their lives that they thought couldn't be possible and support others to do the same.

Measurement and Evaluation

What is the projects indicators for success?

- Measured increased in self-efficacy in target groups.
- Lowered rates of depression in women
- Number of followers on social media platforms

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