Kolbe Catholic College Year 12 student Katie Barnes (16) had been playing netball for five years when she was approached by her sports teacher last year about trying out for the Pathway to Gold Women’s rugby sevens trials.
Rugby sevens is a variant of rugby union in which teams are made up of seven players instead of the usual 15. It is also an Olympic sport.
After only three weeks of training, Barnes headed off to Japan for the school holidays and on her return received an invitation to a rugby orientation camp run by the Australian Institute of Sport.
She participated in a Margaret River sevens competition in February and was selected to try out for the state team.
‘I was the youngest there by about five years,’ she said.
On March 24, Barnes joined the WA Women’s Sevens squad as the first rugby side to play on the recently developed Perth Oval in their curtain-raiser to the Western Force’s match against the Cheetahs.
It was their final trial to impress selectors prior to representing WA in the National Women’s Sevens tournament held in Sydney last weekend.
While Barnes narrowly missed selection for the national team, she said she was excited at the possibility of trying out for the 18 and under state team and possibly a future WA sevens team.