Little valkyrie on the rugby pitch
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.