23 Nov 2021

Australia’s Toughest Sportspeople, an insightful glimpse into Australia’s finest sporting heroes

blog banners (1)

Mick Colliss’ big dream was to become an elite level athlete. After years of trying (and failing) at rugby league, rugby union, cricket, lawn bowls and surf lifesaving, he thought he’d missed his chance. But then he discovered there was no Australian sudoku team and his dream was suddenly alive. Despite never having completed a single puzzle, he picked himself and three mates in the national team and headed off to India to compete for his country at the World Sudoku Championships.

Despite having neither the brains nor brawn required to dominate in the international arena, Mick’s love for sports endured. His latest book, Australia’s Toughest Sportspeople, profiles Australian athletes that have shown true grit and resilience both in and out of play. From punctured lungs, sliced open limbs, broken necks and a few broken jaws, the athletes profiled in this book have poured literal blood, sweat and tears into their sporting careers.

Steven Bradbury OAM, an icon of Australian speed skating, is honoured to be part of the book. “To have a chapter in Mick’s book alongside the likes of Alisa Camplin, Dean Jones and Anna Meares is a real honour. Mick didn’t amount to much as an athlete himself, but he definitely knows how to spin a good yarn. Australia’s Toughest Sportspeople is a unique spin on the usual ‘sport’s book’, a great gift for any sports tragic.”

Fascinated by stories like Steven’s, who lost four litres of blood on the ice rink when a competitor’s skating blade cut through his thigh muscles, Mick delves deep into stories that capture our collective consciousness. He profiles the likes of Rick McCosker, who went out to bat for Australia in 1977 with a jaw so badly broken he had to be fed through a straw, and Robert “Dipper” DiPierdomenico, who played out the 1989 VFL Grand Final with several broken ribs and a punctured lung.

Anna Meares OAM, Australian cycling champion, is featured in the book and says “Mick is an entertainer. His storytelling abilities are second to none and his ability to draw you in and lose yourself in his stories is remarkable. To be included in his new book, I am honoured and if you love sport and tough nut stories showcasing resilience, commitment and sheer bewilderment, then this is the book for you.”

Mick tells stories like no other, and his latest foray into the sporting world is no exception. Featuring the remarkable and often nail-biting stories of John Sattler, Dermott Brereton, Nathan Charles, Haydn Bunton Junior, Curtis McGrath and Gillian Rolton, there’s something for every sports enthusiast in this great new read.


Read an excerpt from Australia’s Toughest SportspeopleBuy/more info on the book More on Mick Colliss here


Back to Articles