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At just 20 years of age, Evania Pelite is already a dual international athlete in Sevens and Touch Football.
She has a gold medal to her name and made her debut with the Australian Women’s Sevens team at just 17, in Amsterdam.
Having amassed a wealth of experience at such a young age, Pelite has certainly earned her most recent call up.
Pelite will join 11 other Australian Women’s Sevens teammates to compete in Dubai at the HSBC World Rugby Series from 3-4 December.
Her Rugby journey initially began at Ballymore in 2012.
“My family encouraged me to go to a Reds day where I got the chance to try Sevens at Ballymore,” Pelite said.
“From there I found out about the school competition they run. My school started a team and I was selected in the Queensland team. We competed in the National Championships and that led me to winning gold at the Youth Olympic Festival.”
Pelite’s progression through the Rugby Seven’s ranks is testament to the growth of the sport and the opportunities that it has to offer committed athletes.
Alongside her in Dubai will be fellow touch football teammate Charlotte Caslick, and her inspiration Emilee Cherry,” she said.
“I always watched Emilee playing touch as I grew up, but I never played with her. Everyone always spoke about Emilee and her ability. She was a massive competitor in the sport.
“I definitely looked up to her and when she made the move to Rugby, I watched and was really inspired by how she dominated both sports.”
Pelite said the opportunities, growth and physicality of Rugby Sevens made the decision to leave touch football fairly straightforward.
“I wasn’t sure of Sevens when I first started. I played for fun and more to see where it would lead,” she said.
With Women’s Sevens being brought into Rio in 2016, that has become a massive goal of mine.”
Pelite said the players are aware of how their success will impact the future of Women’s Rugby.
“We definitely know the sport is growing and that we are the first coming through to promote the sport. We know we are the pathway for young girls making their way through the ranks,” she said.
“It means a lot to me, to be able to represent, not only my country, but my family and myself.”
The Queensland Rugby pathway has contributed 32% of players to the current Australian Men’s Sevens squad and 47% to the current Australian Women’s Sevens squad. The Queensland Women’s Sevens program is supported by the Queensland Academy of Sport.
Both Men’s and Women’s Sevens will feature as part of the 2016 Rio Olympic Games Program and the 2018 Commonwealth Games Program on Queensland’s Gold Coast.
14 NOVEMBER 2018