Three players from the Australian women’s rugby team, the Wallaroos, recently joined the school’s junior and intermediate girls’ touch teams for an afternoon training session organised with the support of the Catholic Education Foundation (CEF).
Casimir sports co-ordinator David Farrugia and touch coach Meaghan Ireland said the session was a great chance to practice skills transferable to touch, like passing and drawing opponents.
Beyond that, they hoped girls would see the players as models of the kinds of professional and semi-professional careers women could have on-field.
It’s good for our girls to see women who are making a career out of the sport that they’re passionate about
“Some of these girls want the opportunity to play professional sports, and sometimes parents might say ‘you need a backup’,” Ms Ireland said.
“It’s good for our girls to see women who are making a career out of the sport that they’re passionate about.”
Players Grace Hamilton, Evelyn Horomia and Emily Robinson all said the session was a great chance to introduce girls to rugby, and that they hoped more young women would join them on the field as professionals or semi-professionals.
“There’s currently a bit of a gap between the top 50 women’s rugby players and the next lot. The more girls that are playing, that gap will close,” Ms Robinson said.
“We need more people to push us so that we can train harder and be better.”
Several students said the session had inspired to consider professional sport, and all agreed their favourite part was a friendly game of touch with the Wallaroos.
“We got to practice the skills we learnt during the training, and apply them in a fun way,” said Year 8 student Lara Pelka, who plays on Casimir’s intermediate team.
The training session was organised through the Catholic Education Foundation, which works with corporate partners to provide bursaries to ensure all children can access a Catholic education.
CEF partner Selectus also supports the Wallaroos and organised the session.
“We’re very appreciative to Selectus for the opportunity to have the girls come down, and the girls themselves – we’re very grateful to them for giving up their time,” Mr Farrugia said.