HAVING taken out the Most Courageous Player of 2015, Mirrabooka-based Edmund Rice protege Aker Athoi is kicking goals on and off the field.
The power forward, who has only played Aussie Rules for just over a season, is a Refugee Week ambassador and part of the all-girl multicultural Aussie Rules team – the Butler Falcons.
Aker’s family were forced to flee their home of South Sudan due to the ongoing persecution they faced in their home country and, while born in Australia, the 10-year-old has found solace by playing the national game.
Edmund Rice Centre special projects and pathways programs co-ordinator Joe Moniodis said Aker’s potential to become a big-time player was huge. “A dashing forward and at just 10 years of age Aker is shaping as one of Australia’s top female football talents,” Moniodis said.
“She has courage in spades and is a constant contributor to the team.”
Naming Fremantle Football Club superstar Matthew Pavlich as her favourite player Aker said she loved playing in the forward pocket and being part of the team.
‘I joined the Falcons because I love football, people and the culture,” she said.
And with dream to become a professional football player and the announcement of WA’s inaugural women’s team, it looks like her dream may not be a pipe one.
Refugee Week runs until June 25 as part of the Refugee Council.