Pas­sion burns in in­ter­na­tion­als

Cockburn Gazette - - SPORT -

ACA­CIA Red­man’s lightning-quick feet are tak­ing her places.

The 10-year-old Atwell Pri­mary School stu­dent and Jan­dakot Fly­ers Lit­tle Ath­let­ics Club mem­ber has loved run­ning for as long as she can re­mem­ber, trans­form­ing that pas­sion into true skill at long-dis­tance and cross­coun­try run­ning.

This Au­gust, Aca­cia’s feet will take her across Aus­tralia to Wol­lon­gong af­ter she was one of the youngest cho­sen to rep­re­sent WA in a na­tional cross-coun­try com­pe­ti­tion.

Aca­cia said she was look­ing for­ward to the com­pe­ti­tion.

“I was re­ally happy and ex­cited and very ner­vous that I got into the team,” she said.

Aca­cia said she wanted to con­tinue her run­ning into the fu­ture, with dreams of com­pet­ing in in­ter­na­tional com­pe­ti­tions when she is older.

CBC Fre­man­tle’s Ky He­hir also made the team.

The cham­pi­onships run from Au­gust 23 to 26. KEN­DRA Fell and Vesinia Schaaf-Ta­ufa want young girls to take up rugby.

The Palmyra Phoenix Rugby Union Club in­au­gu­ral play­ers in 2015 have worked their way through the sys­tem to both rep­re­sent Aus­tralia with the Wal­la­roos at dif­fer­ent times.

Fell, from Piara Waters, was in the Wal­la­roos squad in 2018, while Schaaf-Ta­ufa rep­re­sented her adopted coun­try in 2016 and 2017 af­ter mov­ing from New Zealand in 2009.

The Phoenix have been un­able to field a side in 2019 due to a lack of num­bers, al­though the duo would not have played, with Schaaf-Ta­ufa suf­fer­ing an achilles injury in Novem­ber and Fell tak­ing the year off for fam­ily rea­sons.

Fell said al­though many peo­ple thought rugby was a man’s game, many fe­males also played.

“It’s such a phys­i­cal game but it’s so fun to be a part of; you have to be into phys­i­cal­ity but when I’m out there I don’t even no­tice it’s a phys­i­cal game be­cause there are so many skills to it,” she said. “You can’t just play rugby if you love con­tact, you need to be a skil­ful per­son and have a good mind­set.

“I love hav­ing the young girls in our team be­cause they don’t re­alise how much tal­ent they have.

“For us to play and be older than them, you can see what’s pos­si­ble and be­cause rugby has con­tin­ued to grow, they have a lot more op­por­tu­ni­ties than we ever did.”

Schaaf-Ta­ufa said play­ing for Aus­tralia was a “real big eye-opener”.

“It was an amaz­ing ex­pe­ri­ence to travel with the girls and I played my three caps against the Black Ferns,” she said.

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