Home Sweet Home for Hayley Raso
For many of the Westfield Matildas’ mothers, this year has been that little different with many having their daughters’ home for the first time in years. This was the case for Renaye Sweeting, Mum to Hayley Raso.
Raso is one of the Westfield Matildas’ most electric forwards and has overcome hardships most people couldn’t imagine.
And the striker is certain about without her mum Renaye, she wouldn’t be where she is today.
Sweeting is Raso’s number one supporter and the closeness between the two is plain for anyone to see.
Even as a busy parent to Raso and her two brothers, Jordan and Lachlan, Sweeting found the time to encourage and help Raso pursue her football dreams.
As football has temporarily been put on hold across the world, it means that it was the first Mother’ Day Raso had been home for in a while - and Sweeting could not have been more pleased.
“I know it’s a hard time for everyone but I’m actually really enjoying it because I don’t get to spend extended periods with Hayley very often,” Sweeting told matildas.com.au.
“Normally when she’s home we’re thinking about the time that she’s going to be leaving. It’s just so nice having her here.”
Sweeting is like many of the Westfield Matildas mothers who have played multiple roles in their daughter’s lives - from daily trips for training and matches, to playing the role of support system as the embarked on international careers.
Along the way, Raso has admired the way her mother has continually been a positive and encouraging force. Always laughing together, the positivity is a trait that she is happy to have inherited.
“The trait I get most from my mom is my positivity,” Raso said. “She’s such a positive person,”
“She always looks for the bright side and the good side of everything.”
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For Sweeting, Raso's determination and ability to overcome hardship has been a trait she’s been happy to adopt into her own outlook.
“If I ever feel like something's too hard for me, I always just imagine what she’s [Hayley] been through and I say to myself 'if she can do it, I can'. It really helps me a lot,” she said.
You think that your child's going to get that from you but to get it from your daughter makes it even more important.”
“I think that if she can get through those hard times, then her mother has to be able to get through hard times even better than she can because that's my job.”
Those hard times have been well documented but the pair refuse to let the low points define their relationship.
Instead they find their strength, laughter and love in each other and pride in the bond they share.