Football superstars Moana Hope and Mat Rogers will compete alongside Olympic swimming icon Shane Gould when Australian Survivor: Champions Versus Contenders premieres soon on TEN and WIN Network.
For the first time in Survivor history, 12 everyday contestants, the Contenders, will take on 12 giants of Australian society, the Champions.
The Champions tribe is made up of outstanding achievers in physical, intellectual and social endeavours and are used to applying pure grit to gain success. In order to last 50 days and become the Sole Survivor, the Contenders must rise to the challenge to outwit, outplay, outlast.
From the 24 exciting, determined and inspiring players in the game this year, the first competitors announced for the Champions are:
• Damien, Former Special Forces Commando: Damien is an Australian Veteran from the war in Afghanistan where, in 2009, an explosion resulted in him losing both legs and suffer other extensive damage to his body. His commitment to recovery and rehabilitation saw him master the use of his prosthetic legs and go on to compete in two Invictus Games in wheelchair basketball, walk the Kokoda Track and compete in numerous sporting competitions. Damien is also a best-selling author, actor and motivational speaker.
• Mat R, Dual Code Rugby International: Mat Rogers originally made his mark on rugby league as a standout player for the Cronulla Sharks for six years. After success representing Queensland and Australia, Mat changed codes to Rugby Union in 2001 where he went on to represent Australia with the Wallabies in 45 test matches. In 2007, Mat returned to league to play for the new Gold Coast Titans before retiring from sport in 2011. Mat now devotes his time to another passion – raising money and awareness for children with autism via his foundation, 4 ASD.
• Moana, AFLW Marquee Player: A celebrated and powerhouse player for Women’s Aussie Rules Football, Moana made a name for herself on the field as one of the leading goal kickers in the league. An accomplished junior sportswoman, Moana represented Victoria in cricket and Australian Rules, but decided to give up the summer sport in order to concentrate on footy. One of 14 kids, Moana’s family means everything to her. She is the primary carer for her younger sister, Lavinia, who suffers from Moebius Syndrome, a rare neurological condition.
• Shane, Swimming World Record Holder: An Australian legend in the swimming pool, Shane is sporting royalty and one of the world’s greatest female swimmers. Between 1971 and 1973, she broke 11 world records in six different events and is the only woman ever to win five individual Olympic medals. Controversially retiring at the age of 17 and at the height of her success, Shane has gone on to raise four children, earn two degrees from the University of Tasmania, become an author and a passionate photographer.
The first competitors announced for the Contenders are:
• Jenna, FIFO Supervisor: Working as a supervisor in the mines in Western Australia for the past six years, Jenna happily embraces adventure. An active NFL and AFL player, Jenna is a typical outdoors girl tearing around the bush on her motorbike or wakeboarding. Besides her passions outdoors, Jenna is also a proud mum and counts her daughter as her greatest motivation to achieve.
• Robbie, Construction Manager: Robbie has been determined from a young age, competing at a national level in swimming on top of completing his studies. Since jumping out of the pool, Robbie held down three jobs while completing his Masters in Architecture and has now progressed to Construction Manager after years of putting in the hard work and long hours.
• Tegan, Management Consulting: Even though Tegan’s hometown of Broome is quite isolated, this WA mum of two is well-travelled including riding down Bolivia’s Death Road as one of her most memorable adventures. An experienced camper and fisherwoman, Tegan is looking forward to pushing her outdoor skills to the next level with building shelter and starting fires from scratch.
Top photo: Moana, Mat and Shane