Sporting Schools School Yard to Sports Star: Tara Andrews
Image: Tara Andrews, Newcastle Jets FC
Do you remember your first goal, score or win when you played school sport and how did it feel?
I don't remember my first goal or game but I remember when I made the girls soccer team. I had only bought boots the day before try outs; I was so excited that I made the team and that all of my friends did too. I must have had a knack for scoring goals because I scored a lot of goals for the girls soccer team, and then ended up playing in the boys soccer team as well which I thought was pretty cool.
What’s your fondest memory of playing sport at school?
I remember playing soccer in the school yard with the boys every recess and lunch. There were about four of us girls and at the beginning the boys were sceptical about letting the girls play because they didn't think we would be very good, or be able to handle playing with them. After a little while they realised we were actually pretty good and then they didn't go easy on us; they became competitive, and if we beat them they would get pretty worked up, but that was my favourite part.
How old were you when it ‘clicked’ that you wanted to be a professional sports player?
I only started playing soccer when I was 10, so I probably decided that I really wanted to play soccer at a high level when I was about 12. I enjoyed it so much in those first two years, and I was naturally pretty good at it and improved quite quickly. I think that was around the age that I first heard of the Matildas and thought that I wanted to play for Australia.
What are your top three tips to children about playing sport?
- Play lots of different sports. I played so many sports as a kid and had so much fun; I stayed active, and made so many friends. I had energy to burn and when I got a little older I narrowed it down to the 2 sports that I loved the most, and was the best at. Now it is down to one sport that I put everything into.
- Try new sports. I didn't start playing soccer until I was 10, mainly because no one in my family played soccer, but I'm so glad that I did because I love playing and it has gotten me so far. You don't know if you will like it or be good at it unless you give it a go.
- Love winning and be competitive, but be humble in defeat; you don't win them all.
To read more about the Sporting Schools FFA programme, click here.