Woodchopping teacher helping women cut through on world stage

A Pottsville Beach teacher joined women from across the globe this week in the first ever Women’s World Championship Woodchopping event. Sophie Lambert reports.

Madeleine Edwards competing at the Royal Easter Show.

Pottsville Beach Public School Kindergarten teacher Madeleine Edwards has chopped her way through gender norms at the first ever Women’s World Championship Woodchopping event at the 2024 Royal Easter Show.

Following several gruelling heats, Ms Edwards secured her place in the final of the 325mm Women’s World Championship Sawing Contest (Single Handed), where she placed fourth overall.

Ms Edwards, who is also the Early Stage 1 Assistant Principal at Pottsville Beach Public, said woodchopping was a physically demanding sport, but a beautiful community to be a part of, and her students were among her biggest supporters.

“My students love the fact that I compete in woodchopping,” she said.

“They come to the local shows with little signs that say ‘Go Miss Edwards’, or they sometimes cheer for me and present me with ribbons to be part of the experience."

This year marks the first time women have had the opportunity to compete in the World Championship Woodchop.

“It’s encouraging for young girls to see that it’s not just men anymore that can compete in events like the world title for woodchopping,” Ms Edwards said.

“It’s important for them to see that there are women out there who are really achieving amazing things and doing it at such a high level.”

The annual Sydney Royal Easter Show Woodchopping and Sawing competition attracts competitors from across the globe, with world records regularly set at the titles.

“Competing for the world title here at the Easter Show is kind of like Wimbledon for our sport,” she said.

“If you have a spot in the contest, you can honestly say you are one of the best in the world.”

A woman standing in an arena. A woman standing in an arena.
Image: Pottsville Beach Public School teacher Madeleine Edwards at the Royal Easter Show this week.
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