World cup win for Sarah
WHEN Sarah Spacie’s touch football career started at 11 years of age, the thought she could one day represent Australia never crossed her mind.
Now 24, she has played her part in securing Australia’s World Cup title.
She competed in the Australian mixed open team at the World Cup in Edinburgh, Scotland, from June 22-26, and arrived back in Australia on Sunday after exploring Europe for three weeks.
With 27 countries, competition was tough. But the Aussies won five of seven divisions – three open (men’s, women’s and mixed) for the first time since 2003 – to take the title.
Spacie started training for the World Cup in 2008 after being selected as part of the Australian team.
She said there had been a real build up to the competition.
“I’ve been training for four years for the World Cup. To win it was a big deal.
"It was pretty unreal,” she said.
Australia often won trans-Tasman competitions, which Spacie had previously competed in, but not often the World Cup. In Edinburgh Spacie played nine games over five days, including the final against current world champions New Zealand.
In a pre-final round against NZ, Australia drew with the champs five-all. Spacie was a little disappointed she did not get to play in that game but the Australian coaches had a game plan – Spacie and another winger Kriston Boss were kept as ‘secret weapons’.
Then Spacie played the whole final without a break.
“It was challenging,” she said.
NZ scored the first three touchdowns but Australia fought back and were down by only one point (6-5) at half-time.
After a break the Aussies dug deep to win 10-7.
Spacie landed two touchdowns and made Australia the new mixed world champions.
In all, Spacie scored 16 tries in her World Cup campaign.
A personal trainer, she works out four to five times a week, either solo or with clients.
She does that for at least half an hour to one-and-a-half-hours a session.
Add to that regular training camps in Sydney, one to two times a month.
For Spacie, touch comes first.
She has sacrificed weekends and nights out to train and reach the top of the sport.
“You can’t slacken off once you make the team,” she explained.
Her plane landed after her Europe trip and World Cup campaign at 2am, but Spacie was back into her training regime that afternoon.
She made her first representative side in year seven.
Two years later she was playing for Queensland, which she continued to do throughout high school, until 2008 when she was picked for the Australian mixed side.
She now plays in the Brisbane Friday night competition and hopes to be selected for the next state and national sides.
With more than 10 years playing touch football continuously, Spacie said she was not ready for a break and wanted to keep going in the sport.
“I have always loved it.
"I live and breathe touch football.
"It’s a great game and anyone can play it.
“I would like to thank my family and everyone for their support, especially my parents who came over to watch me at the World Cup.”