Australian Jillaroo guests tell young athletes 'go for it'
AUSTRALIAN Jillaroos players Stephanie Hancock and Jo Barrett have a simple message for budding young athletes: follow your dreams.
Hancock and fellow Jillaroos player Jo Barrett were guest speakers at the annual junior sports awards night on Monday which attracted 160 to Warwick Golf Club.
Football star Talitha Doro was WDN/WCU sports star of the year and athletics/polocrosse achiever Jacob Lawrence the Doc Bodimeade Encouragement Award winner.
Both guests spoke of their careers in athletics and rugby league, and like all the junior monthly winners on Monday night, showed ability in more than one sport.
They fielded questions on everything from their first games of rugby league to the forthcoming 2013 World Cup in Leeds, England.
Hancock played her first game in the under-8 grade when her father Rohan suggested she could play one day Eastern Suburbs was short.
She scored four tries and kicked two goals on debut in a 30-4 victory against Collegians.
She doesn't remember it but has been told about her ball-and-all tackle of a future Cowboys player in the game.
Athletics became her passion along with a bit of coaching for Suburbs when her first cousin, Joel Bradfield, was playing.
Both of the Jillaroos played a rugby league game on different sides between Warwick and Killarney a decade ago, which started their road to the Maroons and Jillaroos.
"Cowboys president Greg Carey asked me to play in the game when I wasn't living here," Barrett said.
Both spoke on Monday of their love of a sport which for women, is amateur.
In answer to a question, Hancock admitted she had to pay airfares and accommodation for her first World Cup in 2003 in New Zealand.