Isabella braced for elite success
FROM watching her brother play to becoming a junior Matildas player, Isabella Wallhead is no ordinary teenager.
The Seton Catholic College student attended the U17 National Team Junior Matildas Camp at the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra and as a result was selected by Football Federation Australia to travel to the Kyrgyz Republic to compete in the Asian Football Confederation U16 Women’s Championship Qualifiers.
During her trip, she competed in four games against Palestine, Indonesia, hosts Kyrgyz Republic and Chinese Taipei.
Australia qualified first in their group.
Wallhead said it had been a great experience after representing WA in the FFA Girls NTC National Youth Championships in Coffs Harbour for the last three years and attending this year’s FFA Girls NTC Challenge in Canberra.
“This year I was involved in three camps; the first two camps were intense training session every day and recovery, just a test of what you are capable of,” she said.
“The third and last camp was a week and if you were picked, then you trained to go to Kyrgyz Republic.”
Wallhead said she had enjoyed the chance to represent her country.
“I made friendships from all around Australia,” she said. “The best part was being able to represent Australia and scoring two goals in my debut.
“The toughest part was being homesick; the first couple of days at the camps you do get homesick but when I went away my parents came over, which helped.”
The centre back is training with Perth Glory and said she was ramping up for another qualifier in February.
“If I get invited to another camp, I might be going away again,” she said.
“In five years I hope to be playing for the Matildas or Perth Glory.” THEY might be young, but members of the South Lake Dolphins Swimming Club are already making waves.
The Cockburn ARCbased club has had one of its most successful seasons on record, capped off with strong showings at three recent Swimming WA short-course competitions where they came away with six gold, six silver and five bronze medals, breaking 35 club records in the process.
At the State Short Course Championship, 20-year-old Kevin Kalember took out gold in the open men 50m and 100m backstroke, silver in the open 50m butterfly and bronze in open 100m individual medley, as well as breaking 10 club records.
Hannah Palelei (18) and Kate Wallington (12) performed well at the State Age Short Course Championship, Palelei with silver in 17-18 years 200m medley, while Kate won bronze in 12-13 years 200m breaststroke.
At the State Junior Short Course Championship, Owen Hewitt (11) won bronze in 11 years 800m freestyle, while Kate Wallington had gold in 12 years 50m breaststroke and silver in 100m and 200m breaststroke.
In a family affair, 12year-old Adrian Frederic won gold in 12 years 50m and 100m breaststroke and silver in 50m butterfly, Annabelle (10) won gold in 10 years 50m breaststroke and bronze in 100m breaststroke and 50m butterfly, while Aldrich (8) won silver in eight years 50m butterfly.