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Alisha Lovrich using Canon gear

The origin of Two Lives

When you see our top athletes on the world stage, it would be safe to assume that they were just a full time athlete. However in a small sport like Athletics this is often far from the case. In fact, it is extremely challenging to make a living off Athletics. Athletes often have other sources of income to help fund their living and athletics expenses to enable them to pursue their dreams. Aside from this, there are a number of athletes who are pursuing their careers “off the track”, not only thinking about their futures when they step away from the sport but also for living a more balanced life and exploring other ambitions they might have. I wanted to illustrate the dual identity or ‘two lives’ of three of our top track and field athletes, who not only have represented New Zealand on the World Stage multiple times, but are multi dimensional humans who have other aspects of life aside from training and competing. I also wanted to inspire others that it’s possible albeit a challenge that you can do both work and sport.

When we see an athlete walk into the facility in their 'work' attire, they are unrecognisable. Everyone is so used to seeing them on the international athletics scene, no one really knows their talents off the track. I wanted to illustrate how these are multidimensional human beings who are more than athletes.

Alisha Lovrich
Julia Ratcliffe (At the time of filming)
Julia is a hammer thrower, winning the Commonwealth Games in 2018 and also winning bronze and silver medals in the 2014 and 2022 Games. She was a finalist at the 2020 Olympics. Julia also represented New Zealand at the 2017, 2019 and 2022 World Championships. Her Hammer PB is 73.55m. Outside of the track, she is a Senior Economic Analyst at the Reserve Bank of New Zealand. Julia has now retired from Hammer throw and is now working at the NZ Super Fund. Julia explains that being both an elite athlete and working towards a career requires an immense amount of support from her family and workplace, especially when she was working full time whilst training.

Julia Ratcliffe photographed by Alisha Lovrich

Image shot on Canon EOS R5 & RF 15-35mm F2.8 IS USM at f16, ISO 100 – 62sec

Portia Bing (At the time of filming)
Portia is the New Zealand record holder for the 400m hurdles and is a 2022 Commonwealth Games Finalist. She also represented New Zealand in the 400m hurdles at the 2019 and 2022 World Championships, in the Heptathlon at the 2015 World Championships and the 4x400m Relay at the 2014 Commonwealth Games. Her 400m Hurdles PB is 55.44s. Outside of the track she is an advisor at the Serious Fraud Office, Portia now works at ASB. Portia went to the 2023 World Championships and the first New Zealand Woman to reach a Commonwealth Games Final in the 400m Hurdles.

Portia Bing photographed by Alisha Lovrich

Zoe Hobbs
Zoe is the New Zealand and Oceania record holder for the 100m and is a 2022 Commonwealth Games Finalist. She also represented New Zealand at the 2019 and 2022 World Championships. Her 100m PB is 10.96s. Outside of the track she is a qualified Nutritionist and co-founder of the Athos App. Zoe went to the 2023 World Championships and was a 2023 Diamond league Finalist (first New Zealand woman to reach the Diamond League 100m final) as well first woman in Oceania to run under 10 seconds in the 100m.

Zoe Hobbs photographed by Alisha Lovrich

A behind the scenes look at Two Lives: The Double Life of New Zealand's Top Athletes
How Alisha used her camera to connect
Two Lives: The Double Life of New Zealand's Top Athletes By Alisha Lovrich Gallery

Alisha Lovrich

Alisha started photographing professionally in 2015 as a commercial, editorial and event photographer. She loves working in high octane sports environments, but also enjoys slowing down and crafting portraits and scenes with her subjects. The athletics track is more or less a home for Alisha as not only now is the Athletics New Zealand team photographer but when she isn’t behind the camera, she is still participating in the sport in pole vault.

Alisha Lovrich using Canon gear


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The Canon Gear Alisha is using