Golden girls the winning formula for Australian rugby

JESS BEER

One year on since their Gold Medal performance in Rio, our women’s Rugby Sevens squad has competing Australian codes fearing for their talent pools.

From touch football, rugby league, basketball and track and field, our ‘golden girls’ were recruited with one thing in mind: talent transfer.

Now, thanks to an increase in school and university-based pathways, the rugby revolution is gaining momentum, helping our next generation of stars find the sport much earlier than their predecessors. 

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Griffith University’s rugby 7s team with the Australian squad ahead of the inaugural AON University 7s tournament in Tasmania, this month. Photo: Jess Beer

For former Australian touch footballer and Commonwealth Games hopeful, Miss Brooke Walker, this is very exciting.

“These young girls have the world at their feet,” she said. 

“I came from touch where the international tournaments were lacking, and the opportunities plateaued.”

“Now I can travel the world and be a part of one of the few women’s sporting programs in Australia that are full time professionals.”

2014 Youth Olympian and Griffith University representative, Miss Laura Waldie, agrees. 

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Youth Olympian Laura Waldie is excited for the future of rugby 7s. Photo: Jess Beer

“When I was 14 or 15 no one even knew what rugby 7s was,” she said.

“I had to convert to rugby and never had the opportunity to focus on it full time because there were limited competitions I could be involved in.”

“Now, the elite pathways are endless!”

For Miami State High School’s head of Girls Rugby 7s, Mr Matt Chapman, this is the beginning of a change for women’s sport.

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Miami High School’s head of rugby, Matt Chapman, believes the Australian Rugby Union is helping shift the momentum for women’s sport. Photo: Jess Beer

“My girls idolise the Pearls girls. They see them represented in the commercial side of sport as well as on the paddock and it helps them realise that rugby can become more than a past time for them,” he said.“It’s a testament to what the ARU is doing, not only for the sport but for women’s sport as a whole.”

“This is the future. Women’s sport is gaining momentum.”

The Pearls will kick off their campaign for another World Series in Dubai this December, with all sights after that set firmly on a home ground win at next year’s 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast.  

 

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