A group of Newcastle girls will depart for an international tour of soccer-mad Brazil this week to represent the Australian under-15 futsal side.
Jessie Webb, Hayley Moore, Abbey Cave, Tanaysha Carr and Kaitlyn Eastley were selected in the Australian side after competing at the National School Futsal Championships at Brisbane in October last year.
During the 20-day tour of Brazil, the Australian side will play friendly and competitive matches against school, club and regional teams.
The Australian girls will also benefit from expert coaching in training sessions held with Brazilian football coaches.
Four of the five girls play locally in the under-17 Women’s Premier League competition, including: Jessie Webb, Wallsend Devils; Hayley Moore, Adamstown Rosebuds; Abbey Cave and Tanaysha Carr, New Lambton.
Due to to the timing of the trip, the WPL girls are likely to miss out on the finals for their respective local teams.
But with a trip to South America’s most iconic football destination booked instead, it’s a pretty fair reason to have to miss the business end of the season.
South Africa hockey tour
Newcastle hockey player Ky Willot has returned from a School Sport Australia tour of South Africa, where he was voted player of the series.
Willot, who attends Belmont High School, was joined in the Australian under-17 boys side by St Clare’s Taree student Eamon Smith.
The tour involved boys and girls, and Caves Beach Primary School teacher Thea O'Sullivan was an assistant coach of the girls team.
Both sides each played practice matches in Capetown and Durban before three test matches against South African under-18 sides in Pietermaritzburg.
The boys side had two draws and then won the final match 5-3, while the girls side was defeated in all three games.
Willot and Smith both play for Norths Hockey Club in the Hunter Coast Premier Hockey League, while O’Sullivan is the Oxfords Hockey Club coach in the Newcastle Women's Premier League.
National netball champs
Whitebridge High School student Zoe Peden played in the NSW netball side that finished second at the School Sport Australia under-15 Netball Championships last week at Werribee, Victoria.
Peden’s NSW side won four of their seven pool matches, before a hard-fought 26-23 victory over Western Australia in the semi-final.
They then squared off in the final against South Australia – a side they lost to in the pool stage of the tournament – but fell just short, losing 30-23.