It’s shaping up as an exciting year on the football field for Jada Hartwig.
The 17-year-old Forbes girl is studying at Canberra’s St Clare’s College and captaining her local league team, the Queanbeyan Kangaroos (13-17 years).
And now she’s just gained selection in both the Canberra Raiders team to contest the Tarsha Gale Cup in 2018 and the National Indigenous Schoolgirls’ sevens team for the national rugby sevens in Brisbane this weekend.
Jada represented the ACT under 18s as a 16-year-old in touch football in 2016 before deciding to play rugby league this year.
She’ll be playing for Queanbeyan Kangaroos women’s opens rugby league team in 2018, at centre or five-eight.
But this weekend, her focus is on rugby and she’s excited to be heading to Brisbane for the tournament.
Jada attended the Lloyd Mcdermott Rugby Development Camp in Tamworth to try her hand at rugby - this proved a very successful move with the young outside back scoring tries in all games.
The Lloyd McDermott Rugby Development team was established in 1992 by a group of rugby enthusiasts who wanted to see more Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people playing the sport.
The organisation was named after Lloyd McDermott, who represented Australia in rugby union in 1962, playing two tests against the All Blacks.
One of the major developments for this organisation was the invitation in 2015 by the Australian Rugby Union to enter a national Indigenous team into the national schools sevens championship in 2017.
“Lloydies” as it is known will be competing in the tournament, providing Jada the opportunity to represent her family and community – as well as have a genuine opportunity to obtain higher representative honours in rugby union.
Jada also has gained selection for the Canberra Raiders under 18’s rugby league side, preparing to compete in the Tarsha Gale Cup.
The new Cup, named for former Australian Jillaroos player and NSW captain, is one of the main women's rugby league nines competitions in Australia.
Jada’s biggest decision in the future will be to decide which code she will pursue but for now she is enjoying the opportunity to develop in both codes and have fun while doing so.