Sadiqah Fatimah is a Year 7 Al-Siraat Senior School student, selected for the AFL “All Nations Squad” for 2017. She is a great example of the wonderfully ambitious and talented girls we have in the Muslim community.

I applaud her efforts and may she be a great role model for young girls. She recently played in the in the National Diversity Championships, held in Byron Bay/NSW from 9 – 13 October 2017, and reflects on her amazing experience below:

Day 1: Monday

On 9 October I had been given the opportunity to represent Victoria in the AFLW in Byron bay. I met my team at the virgin terminal at 9am. We had checked our bags and were ready to head off. Our landing and departure was very smooth, we all were very excited. We arrived there around 12 midday. All together we were about 40 girls. From the airport we went to Wollongbar motel. It was near the beach which was great for recovery sessions. Today was the day of our orientation.

Day 2: Tuesday

On the 2nd day it was our biggest day because we were going to play 3 games back to back. The 1st game was against Tasmania, and we beat them by 80 points. Then we played against New South Wales, we beat them as well. The 3rd game was against South Australia. In the first half, we dominated and gave it all we had but unfortunately South Australia came back hitting even harder in the second half. At the end of the day our coaches were very proud of us as the kick-starts and all nations were both on the top of the ladder. After the games, we went to the beach, it was great. My team was shocked to know that I was the youngest player in the team. By the time it was 10pm we were all knocked out.

Day 3: Wednesday

Day 3 was not as hectic as day 2, we only had to play one game and it was against Queensland. In the first half, we had lost one of our players due to knee injury. So then we only had 1 substitute player. This got us on high alert and our hard work really paid off with another win making us undefeatable. Then we had an education session with one of AFLW’s greatest player Sabrina. She played for the Brisbane lions and was the Queensland girls coach. After the game, we went to the beach again. At night, the coaches had a surprise installed for us. They said they wanted to test our cooking skills in the kitchen. We had to cook pasta without any help and it also had to be creative.  My group had won the challenge and got to sleep in for 30 minutes more than usual as the treat.

Day 4: Thursday

Today was the Semi-Finals and we were ready for anything. In the first match against Northern Territory, we won by 40 points. The next game was against our rivals Western Australia. It was a really tough match, we had another player go down with an arm injury and she was gutted. By now we had no substitutes. We were down by 4 goals in the 2nd half. But in the last 10 minutes we dominated and brought the win back home. Now we were on fire. We made it to the grand finals. We went back to our hotel, had our recovery sessions and went straight out for dinner. We went with our own groups to different places and ate different food. But the day wasn’t done yet the coaches had one last surprise installed for us. We went to bowling; it was so fun all the girls were having the time of their lives. We got home around 11pm and went straight to bed for the grand-finals.

Day 5: Friday

Today was the biggest day of my life. It was grand final day. We were going to verse Western Australia again. In the first half we were winning by only 1 point. In the second half we were unstoppable. In the last 2 minutes we were panicking because the ball was in our forward pocket but our girls were really pumped up and knew what to do. When the final siren went off our whole team were in tears. We couldn’t believe that we actually had won the grand finale. At 1pm we had to go to the airport. We arrived back in Melbourne at 5pm. It was really hard to say goodbye to everyone because we had such a strong bond. It was an adventure for me.

Sadiqah Fatimah 7G2