Motivated by the prospect of competing for Australia at the 2016 Olympic Games, SUSF Elite Athlete Program (EAP) netball scholarship holder Emily Chancellor will this weekend turn her attention to elite level rugby union, after being selected in the Barbarians team that will compete at the 2013 National Women’s Rugby Sevens Championship.
Chancellor (Bachelor of Education & Social Work), who has been playing netball for 15 years (six of which have been with the Sydney University Netball Club), will line up for the Barbarians at St Ignatius College Riverview on Saturday.
“I got involved in rugby at the end of last year a little bit by chance,” explains Chancellor.
“I heard too late that there were trials for the ‘Pathway to Gold’ program, as rugby sevens has been named as an Olympic sport for the Rio de Janeiro Olympics in 2016. I missed the trials and turned up to a training session and I loved it. After that I ended up going down to the AIS for a camp and joined a specific rugby sevens club.”
Chancellor has found that rugby training has allowed her to stay and fit and strong in her netball off-season.
“Rugby has helped keep me motivated in the off season for netball. I’ve been focusing on strength and fitness, and my ball skills have also improved on the netball court as well. I feel that both sports complement each other, through the ability to read play, ball skills, stepping and fitness.”
Despite Chancellor’s positivity, the State League Division 1 netball representative’s transition into rugby union hasn’t been entirely smooth.
“Unfortunately I broke my hand at the final training session before I was to play my first tournament (nine weeks ago), but I think it has made me more determined to get back to full fitness and prove to both sports I should be playing.”
As for her first game on Saturday, a very humble Chancellor is surprised by her selection but can’t hide her excitement about taking the field.
“The reason for my selection for the Barbarian squad is a bit beyond me, all I can think is that I must have left a good impression at the AIS camp at the end of last year because the first game on Saturday will be my first proper game of sevens rugby.”
You can follow Emily’s progress this weekend by clicking here.