FOR ruck Caitlin Hill, travelling to Geelong for the National State School Girls AFL championship was her first ever flight.
The 15-year-old Lockridge resident was one of 15 junior sports people in Perth to win a $500 Federal Government grant to represent WA at interstate sporting competitions.
“This was my first state tour,” Caitlin said
“I went to Geelong with the WA state team in July for nine days.
“I’ve been playing (AFL football) for six or seven years – I started playing with my brothers and got told I wasn’t allowed to play with boys anymore so I went to Swan Districts youth girls and this was my first year.”
Caitlin said Victoria won and WA finished an equal second with NSW and Queensland.
The grants were introduced in 2012 for state-level sports people aged 12-18.
Perth MHR Alannah MacTiernan said the grants were a “fantastic opportunity” for kids to represent their State at an elite level.
“It is quite expensive for parents to fund their kids going over to do developmental work – it costs a couple of thousand to take their kid interstate,” Ms MacTiernan said.
“It’s particularly acute here in WA and most things are based over east but if we’re going to give our kids the opportunity to work their way up the ranks we need to be able to help them.”
Morley Eagles baseball player Koskei Partington-Hopes also won a grant to support him in the Little League National Championships in Lismore, NSW.
The 12-year-old Eden Hill resident said he had played baseball in Hong Kong, Jakarta and South Africa.
“I’ve been playing for two years after I used to play tee-ball,” Koskei said.
“We finished sixth out of 20 this year.”