Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Touch Football

VIXENSPORTS AND TOUCH FOOTBALL

Join VixenSports as Touch Football star Lizzie Campbell shares her stories right here!!

ABOUT LIZZIE CAMPBELL

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Elite 8 Wrap up – 2016

The biggest touch football tournament on the calendar for Elite touch players took place in March and I was fortunate enough to play along some of the sports greatest players but more importantly, some of my best mates!

After an alignment with the three QLD NRL teams earlier in the year, our QLD teams competing were renamed the Broncos, Cowboys and Titans. Growing up and ever since I can remember I have been a Brisbane Broncos Supporter through and through. This made pulling on the Broncos colours for the sport I love even more special and I was very proud to wear the Jersey.

After a big first day with 3 wins (something we had never achieved before) the confidence we came into the carnival with grew. The thing is with the Elite 8 series is there are no easy games. Switch off for half a game and you will be staring down the barrel of a loss and with only 4 spots in finals, switching off or having an off game was not on option.

For our Broncos girls it was neither of these things that started to unwind our usually composed and clinical team. Being the reigning champions and with several current and recent Australian representatives, brings confidence; and pressure. Pressure to perform to potential, not as an individual but as a team. Sydney Rebels and our very own QLD Cowboys capitalised on their opportunities in our round games and were composed and clinical themselves. Down by a few tries with minutes to go in both games, we clutched onto everything we had to fight back and keep the games drawn at the last hooter. Although this left us undefeated through the rounds, 2 draws kicked us down to 2nd place heading into the finals. This meant a 2nd vs 3rd replay against our QLD Cowboys girls!

Finals day was always going to be a great day. Not only for me and my team but for QLD Touch Football as a whole. If I wasn’t the proudest player out there for our state that day I would have been a close second. We had all 3 QLD women’s team qualify for finals. Both young QLD teams had very different games; Cowboys with a perfectly executed game plan to maximise the involvement of some of the best up and coming attacking players in the game and Titans with an abundance of youth paired with some very experienced women who do the hard work and do it so well, and more importantly they played for each other.

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Semi final

Our semi final was always going to be a battle. A battle of field possession and a battle of the mind. To be honest I don’t remember a lot, and that is usually a sign of a hard fought battle. Executing every opportunity we had to score tries, I remember finally getting on top of them. We just needed to hold onto it. If any one has ever seen Tamika Upton play she can literally pull tries out of nowhere so we were fighting until the end. One broken nose and an excessive amount of unbreakable line defence by Hayley Maddick later and the minutes wound down to zero with the final hooter sounding. We were through to the most important game of all.

This excitement and relief was short lived and quickly replaced by a soft sense of pride and an inch of commiseration. To hear the screams coming from field 1, we knew that the team we would play would not be who we expected. It would not be Sydney Mets, our long time rivals. It would not be a team led out by Louise Winchester and her sister Claire, two of the greatest players the sport has seen. We felt for our rivals, because we have all been there. We have all felt the heart break of defeat, and at the end of the day these were our friends who had just lost something we knew they had worked so hard to achieve.

It was going to be a QLD derby and we would be facing a young QLD Titans team who had just proved to not only the whole carnival but to themselves that they deserved a spot in that final.

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Grand Final

We knew getting to the final was something, winning it needed to be something else. With the calm reassurance of our Coach Lucas Feldman we had the plan and it was time to bring everything together. Throughout the carnival Lucas was our rock. He was the relaxed voice behind every breakdown. He had the answer to every one of our questions. Much like his predecessor he gave us all the confidence and belief in ourselves that what we had to offer to the team was important and valued.

To be honest, the rest is history. Everything came together. We were clinical, ruthless, hungry, composed and we played our way to back to back Elite 8 Championships. To see it in action and relive our 8 touchdowns with us, tune into Fox Sports 1 on Tuesday, 5 April at 4.00pm and Saturday, 9 April at 9.00am (AEST).

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The QLD Titans girls played their hearts out and were lead by inspiring performances by Marriki Watego, Ashleigh Kearney and Paige Parker. Ash and Paige both impressing players, coaches and selection staff playing themselves into new positions in the Australian Women’s and Mixed teams respectively.

A big congratulation also needs to go to all women selected in Australian teams announced after the Elite 8 Tournament. We will be playing in the 2016 Trans Tasman event at the end of April in Auckland. After concluding a tough first training camp this weekend with the team, keep an eye out for an update on Vixen Sports for a wrap up of our final camp next weekend!

2016 Australian Women’s Touch football Team
Elizabeth Campbell (QLD)

Tayla Clifford (NSW)

Danielle Davis (NSW)

Rachelle Davis (NSW)

Hannah Dyball (NSW)

Samantha Hopkin (QLD)

Mia Johnstone (QLD)

Ashleigh Kearney (QLD)

Laura Peattie (NSW)

Hayley Maddick (QLD)

Yasmin Meakes (NSW)

Leah Percy (VIC)

Samantha Rodgers (NSW)

Kimberley Sue See (QLD)

Emma Sykes (QLD)

Marikki Watego (QLD)

Coach – Swain Rovelli

Assistant – Craig Morrow

Assistant – Michael Moussa

Manager – Kim Solman

 

 

 

 

 

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2015 to 2016

2015 was a huge year for me, both for touch football and personally. For the last 5 years, I have joined many women who play both professional sports, and sports that aren’t considered professional in juggling a personal life, study/career and my sporting career. 2015 proving to be the most challenging, exciting and rewarding year yet, brought me to a pinnacle in all of these aspects of my life. In January, my partner and I purchased a beautiful house and began the long road of owning and paying off a home together. In May, beside some of my closest friends, I was able to compete in and win a Touch Football World Cup with the women’s open Australian touch team. Topping off the year, in November I graduated from Queensland University of Technology as a Teacher. 2015 was a huge year in which I was able to live out 3 dreams of mine and I never would have been able to do any of it without the support from my family, friends, team mates, coaches and my university.

With the big year out of the way and an enjoyable Christmas break to go with it, it’s now time to start focussing on 2016. After beginning training with our Queensland Chiefs team on January 9, I have been enjoying working hard at the beginning stages of reaching some much needed fitness goals. In 2 weeks, around 12 Queensland girls, including myself will be travelling down to Sydney to begin the process of selection towards the 2016 Australian women’s team. The team will compete against New Zealand for the 2016 Trans Tasman title, held in Auckland in April. The final selection will take place at our National event (Elite 8 series) in March in Coffs Harbour. I will be competing for the Queensland Chiefs at this event. With a new coach and a few new faces, we will be looking to go back to back after winning the tournament last year!

I look forward to updating you all with the progress towards both the Elite 8 series in March and The Trans Tasman series in April.

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2015 Touch Football World Cup

My Journey
My personal journey towards playing in the World cup was a long one. Last April I was pulled into the Australian women’s open side late to play in the 2014 Trans Tasman series when another player fell pregnant. Playing two out of three games at the Trans Tasman series was an abrupt wake up call, that I was unprepared physically for what it would take to make the World Cup team the following year. After 6 months of hard work, the selection process for the World cup team began in November at our first selection camp. Unfortunately, unable to make the first camp, fitness training remained a struggle as most of the training we do is done alone or in small groups. It wasn’t until the end of January that we had the full squad together for the main selection camp.

Walking away from the selection camp, I was content with my position and although I hadn’t been selected in the initial first 14 players I knew there were still 2 spots up for grabs after our national tournament in March. With great support and belief from our Queensland chiefs Coach and Assistant coach Craig Morrow and Lucas Feldman, our team won the 2015 Elite 8 series in Coffs Harbour and became the first Queensland women’s team to do so. Having never been coached by the pair before, I was enlightened to a great example of a coaching style that supported and appreciated attributes of every player and in turn enabled us to play with confidence in our team and ourselves! As if the week couldn’t get any better, this ecstatic win was multiplied infinitively when I got the call on Monday morning that I would be playing in my first World cup, being selected into one of the last two positions!

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The road to the world cup was then an extremely intense one. With camps every weekend for a month leading up to the world cup, we became a team of friends on and off the field. From bonding over the longing for our manager while she was away at a training camp, to completing a high ropes course and seeing a Super Hornet up close at the RAAF Base at Amberley. We had ups and downs including the late injury to one of our links Leah Percy with torn ligaments and an avulsion fracture in her ankle 2 weeks out from Game day! Leah being the toughest and most determined person I know, strapped on her boots, gritted through the pain of a fitness test and through unimaginable pain also was able to play in her first World Cup!

Once we had gathered in Coffs Harbour on Sunday, what usually are used as days to visit schools and do kids clinics, we were lucky enough to spend our Monday in camp visiting Coffs Harbours Dolphin Marine Magic for some bonding time with each other and some other beautiful animals! In the lead up to Game 1 we had some bonding time with the England Women’s Open Team (Who performed brilliantly to take out 6th place) and also had our jersey presentation dinner.

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Results

Day One
Australia (27) defeated Scotland (0)
Australia (24) defeated Japan (1)
Australia (20) defeated United States of America (0)

Day Two
Australia (22) defeated England (0)
Australia (13) defeated Japan (1)
Australia v South Africa (Game Suspended)

Day Three (Shortened games – 25minute straight)
Australia (11) defeated Papua New Guinea (1)
Australia (2) defeated by New Zealand (4)
Australia (9) defeated Singapore (1)

Grand Final

At the wrap up of round games, we had made Touch football history! Not in the way we wanted to! We had become the first Australians women’s team to ever lose a world cup game. Our loss to NZ in the round game was history making. Devastating. Exhausting. Infuriating. But the biggest thing we took out of the game was, to win, we needed to be disciplined and we needed to have confidence in ourselves that we could do it! And that’s exactly what we did!

Leading from the front, our captain Louise Winchester and vice-Captain Peta Rogerson retired their Australian careers with a world class Grand Final! With an early lead and consistent play with little mistakes, we held on to take the game out 8-4. With huge credit to The New Zealand girls, the fight was not an easy one and as all of our hard work and preparation came together perfectly to produce a game of a lifetime, we became the WORLD CHAMPIONS!

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Highlights – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DpSp-J8L1W8&feature=em-upload_owner

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National Touch Football League – Elite 8 Series
Coffs Harbour NSW 11-14 March 2015

The Elite Eight Series, which was first played in 2011 and is now in its fourth instalment, features the best-of-the-best Women’s touch football players in Australia.

After Spending two years as a invited player in the Alliance after being ineligible to play for a Queensland team, I am back playing with my home state in the Queensland Chiefs. There’s something about Queensland, that although we are split into 3 teams (Chiefs, Outlaws and Stingrays), there is mutual respect and support for each other that results in a genuine hope for success within the states teams. Our Chiefs team is made up of girls from Brisbane city and the sunshine coast and fortunately we have a large group of us that have played with and against each other for many years now. Our team is a solid mix of experience and youth. We have some amazingly talented young girls such as Gemma Mi Mi and Mia Johnson who will definitely be making an impact in the competition this year! We are also very fortunate to be captained and vice-captained by two lead-by-example players in Peta Rogerson and Sarah Spacie. With every team at elite 8 being competitive and equally in contention for the silverware, we are looking forward to a big few days ahead in qualifying for finals on Saturday.
For a complete schedule of all the Elite Eight and NTL games please visit the following link:

www.foxsportspulse.com/assoc_page.cgi

A selection of the women and mens games will be live streamed online at

www.youtube.com/touchfootballaus

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2014 Touch football State of Origin – Year of the Blues

TO SEE HIGHLIGHTS OF THE 2014 TOUCH FOOTBALL STATE OF ORIGIN SERIES TUNE INTO Fox Sports 3 on Wednesday, 22 October AT 11.00am
OR
SEE THE FULL GAMES AT http://new.livestream.com/powerproductions/2014stateoforiginseries.

It’s easy to get up every morning or drive for hours to train with your team when you’re working for something. What’s not easy is falling short of that goal knowing you and your team had the potential and opportunities to achieve it! Unfortunately for our Queensland women’s open team this was the case just under a month ago at the sunshine coast. After playing for the Queensland school girls team for 6 years in a row and also being apart of the 2012 winning Queensland women’s team, I personally had never felt the dread and disappointment of losing to NSW. It was our time to feel the hurt of working so hard and still coming up second best.

A lack of alertness on the try line causing us to let in too many tries to keep up with, resulted in NSW winning the first game. Something I don’t think many of us were prepared for! Although gathering our wits and resorting back to a running style, field position focused game we rucked and defended our way through a tough 30 minutes of the second game, eventually wearing NSW down to open up their defense, score several unanswered tries and win the second game convincingly.

As the third game approached so did the thunderstorm and we were lucky to fit in the 40 minutes with uninterrupted weather but unfortunately it wasn’t our day. NSW were up 2 nil before most of our team had even made their first Sub, and quite simply we never recovered. They played as a team and used every individual player’s attributes to their advantage, a value that wins games, series’ and tournaments.

A special thank you to VixenSports and The Knee Joint Physiotherapy in Kawana for sponsoring our team through the tournament. As many sportswomen well know the feeling, we pay to represent our cities, our states and even our country, so all the support we receive from companies and individuals is so greatly appreciated. We so often see women (and men in touch football) with so much potential, unable to pursue dreams of playing for their country because of the financial costs but hopefully through sponsorships like these, this will begin to become less of a concern for players.

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A special mention to two amazing touch football players who played their last games in the Maroons jerseys, Kelly Woods and Peta Rogerson. Both have had amazing careers in touch football and have inspired and shaped so many players in the game in the past, present and the future including myself. Growing up in the touch football community, it was so easy to be inspired and motivated, on and off the field, by women like Kelly and Peta. They are both Queensland legends and I have been so very privileged to have had the honour of learning from such players. A privilege I share with anyone who has had this same honour!

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QUEENSLAND STATE CHAMPIONSHIPS 2014

Playing for Brisbane city has special memories and significance for me, so after missing Queensland State championships for two years in a row and the introduction of an Elite 8 series into the national competition I was very excited to be pulling on a Brisbane City Cobras Jersey for the first time since 2010!

We began the tournament off with a draw with Sunshine coast, who we predicted to be our biggest rival. We then progressed through the round games vs PNG, Southeast Queensland, Northern Queensland and South West Queensland undefeated. Finishing second by points difference we faced a young and enthusiastic South West Swans in the semi final, managing to continue our roll on them from the previous night in the round games, we finished the game with a convincing win!

We headed into the final vs Sunshine Coast with the skills and game plan to match them, unfortunately their experience and work ethic got the better of us with a devastating 7-2 loss.

From a selection standpoint The State Championships was the final stage in selecting the Queensland Women’s Open team to compete against NSW in the 2014 State of Origin in September at the sunshine coast. We have little over 4 weeks to prepare with a new coach in Swain Rovelli, to retain the state of origin trophy.

Queensland Women’s Open Team 2014

Peta Rogerson
Brooke Walker
Savannah Pratten
Jemma Mi Mi
Kim Sue See
Kelly Woods
Lizzie Campbell
Hayley Maddick
Catherine Sargent
Marikki Watego
Shenae Ciesolka
Samantha Hopkin
Kate McCarthy
Sarah Spacie

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Trans Tasman 2014 – Mudgee

After arriving on Tuesday into Mudgee, NSW our Australian women’s team spent Wednesday and Thursday putting the last touches on what would prove to be big three games! We were also luckily enough to have some spare time to spend enjoying the beautiful country town, the majority of us spent it relaxing having coffee, cake and chats (minus the cake!). On Thursday we were given the great privilege of running a touch clinic for the local (and some not so local) kids.

With ANZAC day approaching the community involvement in this tournament was beyond amazing. There was even a town competition between shop owners for ‘best AUS/NZ decorated’ shop window. Friday morning our team as well as the men’s and mixed Australian and New Zealand teams, staff and Referees joined the ANZAC march through the beautiful town of Mudgee. The morning saw our teams come together to celebrate and remember the lives of our fallen and appreciate the bond between our two countries, the afternoon then reflected that passion and pride out on the field.

2014 Womens open Touch football Trans Tasman Results

GAME 1 – Friday 25th April
Australia 8 – 6 New Zealand

GAME 2 – Saturday 26th April
Australia 4 – 6 New Zealand

GAME 3 – Sunday 27th April

The women’s open Australian touch football team had only in their history lost 2 games and we had just become the 3rd. Never had they lost a Trans Tasman trophy so Game 3 was always going to be a battle to remember.

The Decider: We knew it was going to be a battle of field possession so our aim was to ruck the ball and kill their go forward. Wise words from our injured Sarah Peattie proved to do us well, after staying patient for the first 5 minutes and not pushing to score off every set we found ourselves up 2 nil up very quickly. The game went back and forward as we expected and with gutsy defense and a running line attack we were up 4-1 at half time. The second half all we had to do was hold them out and the title was ours. Falling back on our default style of playing a more running style game proved to be too much for the Kiwi’s. Even with a last attempt of a comeback with 2 late tries, it was too little too late and we had finished the game on a win 6-4.

The celebrations were heartfelt, even the five of us debutants knew that their was a new vibe about the New Zealand team and that next time they will come even harder. They seemed fearless and confident and with just over 12 months until the 2015 World cup this series has reminded us that we have a lot of work to do to retain that title!

In the near future we all return to our respective states and prepare for what I imagine to be a series that will have a big influence on the selection of the World cup team ‘The 2014 Touch Football STATE OF ORIGIN’ in September.

Join VixenSports as we follow the journey of Touch Football star Lizzie Campbell right here!!

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Trans Tasman 2014

Each non-World Cup year, Australia and New Zealand compete in a three game series for the title of Trans Tasman champions. Last January saw the Australian women’s team victorious with a 3-0 game count over a strong New Zealand team in Auckland.

This year will see younger teams from both sides of the ditch with our Australian team containing 5 open debutants including myself. We also see the return of two very experienced and valuable players in Claire Tandek and Sam Hopkin.

Friday, Saturday and Sunday will see all three open divisions of men, women and mixed teams play in Mudgee (NSW) to take back the Opens Trans Tasman trophy after both the Australian mens and mixed teams lost their series’ last year 2-1.

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Australian women’s open debutants:
Lizzie Campbell, Danielle Davis, Kimmy Sue See and Catherine Sargent (Missing: Maddie Studdon)

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2014 National Touch League Elite 8 Series

March 12-14 saw Coffs Harbour NSW host the third Elite 8 touch series. This tournament involves the participation of 8 teams that boasts the most elite touch football players in Australia. NSW provide four teams, QLD put forward another three teams and the remaining states and territories combine to form the eighth team named The Alliance.


After being unable to qualify for a team in my home state of Queensland (due to being overseas at the time of selection), I was lucky enough to be selected into the Alliance women’s team under a player’s pool selection process. This brought me a whole new experience for the carnival. Pre-tournament preparation for a team from Queensland would usually entail weekly training sessions with the team, where skills, game plans and moves would be addressed and cemented into each player. Playing for the Alliance we didn’t have that luxury. We all came together as a squad (not even a final team yet) twice over a four month period. Once the team was selected, we gathered for three days only, before the tournament began. This also meant that leading into day one of the tournament, it was more like leading into day four. All of the girls had put in the extra work in their home states though and fitness was luckily not a concern.

Day one

We had 1/3 wins, both losses to the two teams who would eventually play off in the grand final on Saturday! But our biggest loss was Australian women’s open player Samantha Hopkin to a quadricep tear.

Day two

We faced a very fast QLD Chiefs side who proved to be to fast for us to handle and we went down 7-4 with our biggest losing margin yet. The finish to the day was more promising with a convincing win over NSW country Mavericks, which put us into a position of making finals with a good day three.

Day three

After 5 well polished and hard running games, a badly executed slump game was just waiting to happen, and QLD Stingrays capitalised, beating us early on Friday morning. This left our finals hopes and all of our hard work throughout the week depending on our last game vs QLD Outlaws. Coincidently, after an outstanding day one and a few losses through day two, the Outlaw’s finals hopes also rested on our final game. We needed to win by 5 tries to go through on for and against, they just needed to win.


The game was always going to be a difficult one and it just happened to be against my club and affiliate coach, which also meant it was against a lot of girls I had played with and against before. Even after leading by 3 tries in the second half, unfortunately our defense lacked and cost us the game. Our finals hopes were gone, as were the Outlaw’s, with the match ending up 5-5.

The semi final results saw NSW Sydney Mets defeat QLD Chiefs and NSW Scorpions defeat QLD Stingrays to produce an all NSW final.

With Scorpions outscoring Mets in the final few seconds of the game, the hardest part was watching Scorpions hold up the championship trophy knowing it could have been us, after only going down to Scorpions in the final few minutes of our round game. The tournament this year was closer than it has ever been and was a great indication of the depth of talent around the country.