IT seems Baillie-Rose Keenan is always thinking one step ahead when it comes to her lacrosse endeavours.
The 16-year-old athlete was one of the youngest players in Australia’s under-23 side that wrapped up its campaign with a silver medal at the Asia Pacific Lacrosse Championships in South Korea over the weekend.
But she did not allow herself too much excitement at being selected in the women’s team while still in high school.
Instead, she focused on where it could take her next.
“It’s something that I’ve been looking forward to for a while now, as I see it as a stepping stone to the under-19s Australian Lacrosse Team to compete in the 2019 World tournament in Canada,” she said.
“From there, this could lead to even bigger opportunities such as playing lacrosse at a college level in Canada.
“This level of lacrosse is something that I will never stop appreciating and striving to compete in because I love being around like-minded people who have the same passion for the game that I do.”
A strong Japanese contingent defeated the Australians 16-6 in the grand final on Saturday.
Keenan’s lacrosse pursuits have gathered momentum in recent years.
She was a part of the past two WA teams that broke a Victorian stranglehold on the national titles by going through both tournaments undefeated.
But women’s lacrosse did always interest her as it does now. Her three older brothers had her following the men’s game when she was growing up.
“At first I wasn’t really interested in the women’s aspect of lacrosse, since I had begun my lacrosse journey playing under the men’s game,” she said.
“I soon found out that the women’s game was just as good, if not better.
“The sense of community throughout women’s lacrosse is one of the things that keeps me coming back, as I have made friends for life since playing in club and state teams.”
Keenan is a nominee in the Community Newspaper Group’s Local Sports Stars awards. Visit www.localsportsstars.com.au.