These young ladies are winners on and off the pitch
RUGBY LEAGUE: Fresh from her tiring, but rewarding experience, whistle-blower Kaliyah McGrath tells of her experience at the recent Gorden Tallis Carnival (GTC).
And she is an example that females don't need to be players to be involved in sport. The well-spoken 14-year-old said she had a ball in Townsville.
"It was kind of tiring, but all the games were really good and all the teams were really well-mannered," she said.
"It was such a pleasure being in that carnival."
Kaliyah showed a maturity that belied her young age.
"You just try and breathe and be calm and then just go on to try and do your best," she said. After she became too old to play for Gladstone Wallabys' under-12 and U13 teams, Kaliyah played representative league for the Raidettes' junior teams.
"I try to balance it between refereeing and games and refereeing helps seeing a different perspective of the games," she said.
"You get to see things that you have never really interpreted and being a referee makes me have that much more respect for other referees because I know what they have to go through and what they do."
Gladstone Wallabys junior Lily Wood is still on cloud nine after her team won the GTC.
As the sole girl in the side, Lily said she enjoyed every bit of it. "To play among the boys can be annoying, but they gave me plenty of encouragement," she said.
The Chelsea Baker fan said she was overwhelmed at first in the grand final against Cairns, but after a few touches, the nerves settled.
"I played as lock and got some of the ball in the final."
It was mixed fortunes for Calliope Rooster pair Maycee Brown and Tillee Assman- Sullivan. Their side finished second to Rochedale Tigers in the Wally Tallis Cup category, but being in a boy-dominated team in the centre position was a highlight for Tillee.
"It was a fun experience and exciting and I like to be a part of the team," she said.
Interestingly, Tillee is a second cousin to St George Illawarra utility Kurt Mann.
"I would love to meet him one day," she said.
Maycee missed playing because she injured her elbow before the GTC, but she helped her Roosters team where she chose the best players and collected quirky statistics such as who had the most fun and who applied the most tackles.