Darling Downs’ Zimmorlei Farquharson has been awarded the 2017 Troy Clarke Scholarship, named after former Brisbane Bear and AFL Queensland Development Manager Troy Clarke.
The scholarship is designed to support a young person from Regional Queensland each year, who displays the same core values – such as dedication, passion and respect – that Clarke embodied throughout his life.
Farquharson has played club footy at the Dalby Swans since 2010 and was nominated for the scholarship by AFL Queensland Darling Downs Regional Manager, Jeff Neumann.
“Zimmorlei has always impressed me with her passion for developing life skills and her maturity and commitment to become a better footballer and person, constantly and conscientiously,” said Neumann.
In her short career Farquharson has racked up many accolades. This year alone she was named most valuable player and player of the championships at the U16 Queensland Academy Championships, got the nod as an All-Australian at the Under 15 School Girls National Championships and recived a Jim Stynes Scholarship.
In 2016 she was co-captain of the Queensland All-Nations team at the National Diversity Championships and was selected as a member of the Australian Medleys team. She is also a member of the Brisbane Lions Academy.
Farquharson said she felt privileged and grateful to receive the scholarship.
“I’m proud of the things I have achieved in my life as they are reminders that I can go further if I put my mind to things, in not only football but other areas,” she said.
“My mum and dad greatly support me in what I do. Craig Starcevich the Brisbane Lions AFLW coach, Jeff Neuman and Keith Webb have helped me in developing my skills with an open line of communication between me and them.”
The first female to win the award, Farquharson said the launch of AFLW had been a major motivation for her.
“The impact that AFLW has had on females and myself is that we now have the privileged to go into the start of something great that we never thought possible before” she said.
Troy Clarke Scholarship Ambassador Kurt Tippett said he was looking forward to mentoring the promising prospect.
“Congratulations Zimmorlei, I’ve heard a lot about your talent and I look forward to watching you develop over the coming years,” he said.
Farquharson’s football achievements can also be attributed to her athletic prowess. She is the current 100m and 200m age record holder in the Darling Downs region, female age champion in long jump throughout the Darling Downs and female age champion in cross country at Dalby Christian College and the Dalby District.
In addition to her football ambitions, Farquharson also hopes to study nutrition and sports science at university.
For the remainder of this year she is focused on her studies and improving her football skills and smarts to help her Dalby Swans through their finals campaign.
By Aaron Goodwin