SABRINA Frederick is no stranger to the spotlight.
The two time All-Australian has built her own personal following across social media and our TV screens on SAS Australia since becoming a marquee player for the Brisbane Lions six years ago.
While more recognisable, she's always been confident in who she is and what she does, whether people like it or not.
"I've been raised to be a very open person, I'm very proud of who I am and I'm not ashamed of anything that I am, I've always gone about my life that way," Frederick said.
The former Tiger and Lion this week announced that her and wife Lili are expecting their first child together.
A month after celebrating their wedding, postponed by Covid, she couldn't be more proud of her marriage and their impending new addition.
"It was never a question whether I was going to hide that part of me, because to be honest with you, outside noise has no impact on my personal life, I don't listen to what people actually think, I've always been proud of my sexuality and proud of the people that are in my life," she said.
Born in England to an Australian mother, Frederick’s family moved to a country town called Pinjarra, an hour outside Perth, when she was seven-years-old, where she said the aim was to fit in.
"When you're a kid you just want to look and be like everyone else and then you grow up and realise that the parts of you that are different are actually the more valuable parts and need to be celebrated," she said.
Earlier this week, Collingwood posted a video to Instagram as 'Sabs' held up a tiny Magpies guernsey to tell her teammates the news, before she was quickly buried beneath delighted teammates limbs.
"I don't like keeping secrets, so keeping that from my teammates for 12 weeks was hard, I tell them everything and I see them almost every day," she said.
The 25-year-old is introspective and said the past month has been a timely reminder of the landscape in which she resides.
2022 FIXTURE Every match, every round
"It's been so nice hearing from so many amazing people who are so excited for us, even people I've never played with from different teams are getting around us," she said.
"That's probably the biggest thing I love about AFLW, it's just the community we have - we compete on the field, but we have so much respect for each other and what we give to the game, and that's unlike a lot of other sports."
With Pride Round kicking off on Friday night seeing Frederick run out in the black and white for the second time, she said the dedicated round plays a broader part in examining society.
"What pride round does is it explains the community that exists within AFLW, how accepting the environment is and how celebrated differences are within the code, and it's not like that in any other sport in Australia," she said.
"I think AFLW is the benchmark when it comes to inclusivity, that's why it's so significant, because it goes much further than pride- it's how inclusive we are as a community."
Collingwood will don their inaugural Pride guernsey when they face Geelong at GMHBA stadium, designed by teammates Brianna Davey and Sarah Rowe.
The guernsey features the traditional Pride rainbow colours, pink and blue stripes to represent the transgender flag and a brown strip to represent people of colour in the LGBTIQ+ community.
When asked why she thinks AFLW is particularly accepting as a group, Frederick attributes it to the fact that it has been a safe space since inception.
"From the moment I stepped into women's footy at 15, I remember all walks of life coming together and having so much respect and love for each other, so I think it was created before AFLW existed," she said.
Remarking that it could be a case of kindred spirits finding common ground, the key forward said.
"Women's footy has been a minority for so long, when you're in the same fight for equality with someone you just embrace them for all that they are," Frederick said.
Having been drafted in the inaugural season, Frederick doesn't shy away from the responsibility they felt to create an inclusive culture from day one.
"It was really important for the first lot of players to continue that at the elite level, because at the end of the day, there's so many eyes on the sport and if we can set the standard right from the beginning, that everyone is equal and there's a place for everyone, that will trickle down and we've done a good job so far," she said.
GET YOUR TICKETS Why you must secure your seat in advance
The common thread is the strength in community, which Frederick knows she has down pat.
"It's contagious - being around the people in my circles that are also proud of who they are, it stems from them as well. I hope I can inspire any sort of person that comes across me to be who they are, whatever that may be," she said.
Did you head to the footy over the weekend? Tell us your thoughts! Take the survey now