Distance proves no barrier in binding friendship
BEC McMurray has made friendships that will last her a lifetime, and all through her involvement in the sport of polocrosse.
The young West Australian player was in Warwick for the Shell Cup Carnival recently due to friendships forged across the breadth of the country.
Bec met some local junior polocrosse players while competing at the in Warwick last year, when she was representing her home state in the junior competition.
They became friends, and since then she has kept in contact through Facebook and phone calls.
That was Bec's first connection to the local area.
I would definitely come over to Queensland again, as it has laid the foundation of many great friendships. It has also given me a great warm-up to our WA season, which runs from July to early November.
Her next connection came when Felton schoolgirl, Grace Young, was selected for Queensland's Junior team and travelled to Western Australia last October.
Grace was billeted with Bec's family in Perth, and now Bec is spending two and a half weeks with the Young family travelling and playing at carnivals in Warwick, Albury, and finally, Clifton, this weekend.
The bubbly 15-year-old, who lives in Armadale, a suburb of Perth, said the trip had been a wonderful experience.
She has been playing polocrosse for five years, and says meeting our local Darling Downs players has been a life- changing experience.
"There is one particular friend from Clifton that I haven't seen for a year but we've kept in contact and when we met again in Warwick it was like I'd never left," Bec said.
"I have also got to know Grace a lot better during these couple of weeks," she said.
"I would definitely come over to Queensland again, as it has laid the foundation of many great friendships.
"It has also given me a great warm-up to our WA season, which runs from July to early November.
"When I get back I will be geared up ready for our season. I will get my horses in and start working them.
"There are a lot more teams in Queensland than in Western Australia, but at the top level we are just as strong as any other state."
That has been proven with the West Australian men's team making the finals at the Nationals last year.
Bec was first selected to represent her state at 13, when she was picked to play for the West Australian junior team against the Northern Territory at the Perth Royal Show two years ago.
She was then selected to contest the Nationals in Warwick in 2012, and the Perth Royal again in October, where she played against Queensland.
She says she loves the sport of polocrosse most, and the social side of it is really a bonus.
"I've made good friends through the sport, and I'm hoping to gain experience which will help my game," Bec said.
"I'm playing on a horse supplied by the Young family, so I'm learning to ride other horses also."
Polocrosse brings people together, Bec said, and she is a good example of that.
"Generation to generation come along to polocrosse, as my dad, Stephen, plays also."
Bec, who is currently in year 11 at Kelmscott Senior High School, said her furthest carnival to travel to in WA was Murchison, which is a nine-hour drive from Perth.
"Most carnivals though are about a four-five-hour drive."
Bec will celebrate her 16th birthday with her polocrosse friends on Thursday at Clifton, before heading home to WA on Monday.