Lit­tle valkyrie on the rugby pitch

Kapi-Mana News - - SPORT - By KRIS DANDO

Suzie Keepa is a rugby league dy­namo.

The Tawa six-year-old, who plays in one of the Porirua Vik­ings’ un­der-6s sides, has scored more than 60 tries this sea­son, of­ten bar­relling through or fend­ing off boys much big­ger than her­self. On a sin­gle day re­cently, she scored 22 tries in two games against St Ge­orge and Rand­wick.

What is more re­mark­able is Suzie is deaf – she got glue ear a few years ago, com­pli­ca­tions from which led to her loss of hear­ing, and she must wait un­til she is 10 for an op­er­a­tion to fix it. It has not held her back on the rugby league field, or en­joy­ing a num­ber of other sports.

Suzie’s dad Ha­gar, the Vik­ings’ ju­nior con­venor, missed most of her games this sea­son as he also coaches his son’s un­der9 side.

He says she is a great ad­ver­tise­ment for Weet-Bix for break­fast.

‘‘Suzie’s got no fear, just gets into it like the boys do, even though she’s one of the small­est out there. She tucks that ball un­der one arm and off she goes.’’

Step­mum Leti­tia says what Suzie is do­ing is in­cred­i­ble.

‘‘She was all right last year [her first sea­son play­ing] but this sea­son has taken off. She runs through whole teams, it’s in­cred­i­ble to watch. Peo­ple on the side­lines say, ‘Who’s that girl?’, be­cause she not only scores tries but tack­les her heart out too.’’

Suzie is fol­low­ing in the foot­steps of eight-year-old brother Harry who is also show­ing some bright rugby league tal­ent.

It’s fair to say this fam­ily’s loy­alty only knows one colour: maroon.

Magic in maroon: With a ball safely wrapped un­der one arm, Porirua Vik­ings’ Suzie Keepa is a force to be reck­oned with, of­ten scor­ing up to six tries a game.

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