Yeronga/South Brisbane AFL teammates Caitlin Collins and Emily Bates are set for a busy summer as they prepare to represent Queensland in two sports next year.
The girls have been selected in the state’s under 18 teams in both Australian Rules Football and cricket following an impressive 2012 season.
They will head to Ballarat in January to compete in the national under 18 female cricket championships and to Shepparton in May for the AFL National under 18 Youth Girls Championships.
With training well underway for both competitions, the two recent high school graduates have already started juggling commitments.
“Trainings are on different days so it’s manageable,” Bates said.
“It was difficult during my final year of school, but focussing on what’s important got me through.”
While both girls cite their families as the key behind their choice of sports, it was a deal forged between two friends that set them on the road to dual state honours.
They decided that if Emily played for Caitlin’s cricket team (Souths) she would return the favour by pulling on the boots for Emily’s football team, the Yeronga/South Brisbane Devils.
“I’d always played AFL from when I was about 11, so I started cricket to try something new,” Bates said.
Collins said that from the moment she picked up the Sherrin there would be no going back.
“Once I started playing both sports I knew I would never stop, the fun I have and the friends I’ve made will last me forever,” Collins said.
Queensland’s under 18 teams in both AFL and cricket came devastatingly close to a national championship in 2012 finishing second and third respectively.
Bates and Collins are looking forward to training hard over the summer to contribute to their teams’ successes in next year’s competitions.
“One thing I would love to see happen is to play alongside my friends in the under 18 nationals for AFL and to beat Victoria in the Grand Final,” Collins said.