Photo Credit: Elissa Manera
Australian Women’s Outback Arrive in Langley
The buzz around Trinity Western is electric. The Outback girls arrived today after a long week in camp at Simon Fraser University with 2-a-day practices, battling jetlag, cases of vertigo and lost luggage.
The last week at training camp has been an eye opening experience for many of the team. Being at a national competition with training that match the intensity that you would expect from a team that is representing Australia. The squad are also meeting together as a team for the first time since February, and getting familiar with each other again.
From a sideline perspective the team have finally come together, the offence under Coach Konecki’s guidance and defense being lead by Coach Stone, all being held together by Head Coach Jen Welter. The girls are displaying the kind of energy and fire one would expect from a national representative team.
The journey for most of the girls since Outback selection started in 2016, has involved many sacrifices; some recovering from injuries sustained in club competition, others struggling with the financial side of competing in an unfunded sport, but it has all lead up to this moment
Coach Welter was very clear that despite what happens over the next nine days, “Team Australia has already won, just by getting this far”. Many of the foundation players in this team are from the clubs that started the women’s competition in Australia over 5 years ago and are looking at this as the last opportunity to represent their country.
Women’s gridiron players across the country are faced with the same reasons that women stop playing sport in general, such as; family commitments, finances, age, injury recovery. It’s important that these players take this experience back to their clubs and states.
Armed with the connections and benefits of the WWC environment, coaching, and being among some of the alumni of women’s football from across the world. With an aim to develop the game from a club level and ensure sustainability for the next generation of Outback Women.
As young as the Women’s Outback team are in terms of international competition. Team Australia aren’t just here to participate. When the Outback face Canada on Saturday 24th 7.30PT it will be a hard fought battle until the end and but one thing for sure is, it’s not in the Aussie nature to go down without a fight.
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Written by: Stacey Speer – Womens Gridiron Leagues of Australia
You can also catch up with The Vault Studio’s going local Podcast below, it is full of interviews from members of the team and Head Coach Jen Welter.