Sporting Schools School Yard to Sports Star: Alicia Quirk
Image: Alicia Quirk, Australian Women Rugby Sevens player
Do you remember your first goal, score or win when you played school sport and how did it feel?
When I was four years old, my sister’s kindergarten indoor netball team was short of players one day and I was fortunate enough to get the call up to play with them. I was so nervous because I was much younger, but it turned out to be a lot of fun and ignited my passion for team sports. Everyone was supportive, encouraging and inclusive of everything I did on and off the court. We ended up winning and got to sing the team chant in the middle of the court afterwards; I was hooked and loved every minute of it.
What’s your fondest memory of playing sport at school?
Whether it was organised sports or games we threw together at lunch or recess, I always enjoyed running around the oval or courtyard with my classmates. The friendships and healthy competition school sport creates is great - it also teaches you skills like discipline, respect and fairness. My favourite game was handball; I loved when you got to be in ‘Ace’.
How old were you when it ‘clicked’ that you wanted to be a professional sports player?
At the age of eight I was picked in my first representative team and I got my first-ever team uniform. The feeling I got from being selected, the bigger friendship groups I made from playing, and the enjoyment it gave me on and off the pitch where things I knew I wanted to experience over and over again. I grew up with a dream to one day compete at the Olympics and for a naturally stubborn and determined person that was something I never wanted to give up on.
What are your top three tips to children about playing sport?
- Have fun! Even at a professional level every time we run out onto the field we always finish our huddle with “let’s have fun girls, we play our best footy when we are having fun!”
- You don’t have to be perfect at everything! Practice is very important for improving your skills but try not to focus on the things you’re not so good at all the time. Strengthen your strengths to ensure you’re the best player you can be and the rest will eventually come
- Never give up. If you love something stick with it. Regardless of what happens or what people say there is a reason you choose to play sport and it’s because you just love it and love everything it encompasses. Its your passion, hold onto it!
To read more about the Sporting Schools Rugby program, click here.