Winging it: a footy journey

Community football writer, Beth Newman, is pulling on the footy boots this season.

Since coming on as AFLQ community footy writer, I decided to go the whole nine yards in my commitment to the job.

Despite watching and loving footy for most of my life, I had never actually played a game – that is, until this year.

As well as learning a new sport and gaining more technical understanding of the game, I really wanted to play so I could pick up a new nickname (that’s the point of footy, right?).

While I originally planned to keep my involvement under wraps, the office found out and here I am, blogging about my experiences as a fledgling footballer ( I use that term about as loosely as possible).

With our first game this weekend, I thought it would be a good idea to start now and I’ll be hopefully blogging weekly about my experiences in the league.

I signed up for the UQ Red Lions in March, and to this point, have zero regrets.

AFL is just as much fun in the thick of the action as it is when you’re watching from the grandstands.

As a netballer in a previous life, the contact side of the game is a very welcome addition to my sporting artillery.

As someone who could only be described as a run-o-phobe, the fitness has been the biggest challenge.

Attempting to learn a new skill is always difficult, but I am amazed each week at the amount by which everyone on our side, mostly with little to no footy experience, improves.

A major learning curve was our first practice game against Griffith Moorooka – where I learnt exactly how much running you need to make it in footy.

I’m pretty much a coach’s nightmare – too short for a key position, and not quite fit enough to run a whole game as midfielder (though the weekly suicide runs will hopefully help that side of my game).

What I do have, and in fact the strength of our relatively inexperienced team, is a bunch of enthusiasm.

And that is what has made my first six weeks of footy so fun – the entire team is there to improve, enjoy themselves and do their best each week.

On Sunday, we play our first game against Coorparoo and, if I make it through that, I’ll be back next week to keep you updated on my footy journey.

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