Sam Le Gallou ǀ auscblacks.com
IF driving a 900 kilometre round-trip for three kicks in an Aussie Rules Football long kick competition is not a measure of determination, what is?
Adelaide University Soccer Club’s Jenna McCormick’s drive to succeed has not only taken her across the South Australian plains countless times, but to almost every state in Australia and thousands of kilometres across the globe to the likes of Brazil and Argentina. And who knows where she could go next?
A natural athlete, Mount Gambier-born Jenna enjoyed all sports at school, and played football, cricket and Aussie Rules Football (AFL) at State level, as well as enjoying the honour of being one of 10 girls Australian-wide selected in the AFL Under 18 High Performance Academy.
“Being a girl playing sports mainly dominated by boys and in a rural area is interesting, as it provides a range of different experiences and challenges” Jenna said.
“You often play (football) against boys and always above your age group – this of course toughened my game up and I think that’s where I naturally developed my strength and physical aspect of my game.
Unable to follow the same elite pathways such as SASI and NTC as the city players, Jenna said endless travel was something she just did, as she knew it was required if she wanted to play sport at a higher level. The tyranny of distance also meant she simply couldn’t be part of these programs as they trained multiple times per week.
“The AFL long kick competition I use as an example because my parents put their lives aside as I was growing up to ensure I made the most of my talents and opportunities,” she said.
“Without them I would definitely not be where I am today.”
And today, Jenna is sporting the 2013/14 Adelaide United Lady Reds Player of the Year Award.
Could the attacking midfielder by trade have pushed her game, and her career, to a new level playing as a centre-back and as vice-captain of the Lady Reds in the Westfield W-League?