Long Bay College Sports Prefect and Girls Rugby co-captain Latisha Trigwell-Achmad is “stoked” about her selection to the QBE North Harbour Farah Palmer Cup (FPC) team for 2020. And so she should be. It’s an opportunity to play as part of a squad that could one day lead to her ultimate goal, a position with the Black Ferns. Latisha is one of the youngest members of the team and has been identified as an upcoming young talent for development. And she is giving it her all.
“I want to get my hands on the ball and play as much rugby as possible; I want to send it; I want to prove myself and maximise the opportunities,” she says.
It all began in Year 9 when Latisha’s skills were identified by Long Bay College’s Girls Rugby Coach, Mr Kevin Parslow. At the time, Latisha was a netballer and says rugby was never a sport she thought she would play. After her first Rugby Sevens match representing the College, she came off the field absolutely fizzing and has never looked back.
“From Year 11, I wanted to put all my time into rugby and really focus on it. It is a very physical sport and it has such a great community.”
With a commitment to five FPC squad training sessions a week, plus games, school and a part-time job, Latisha was aware she needed to make a plan about how to realistically make it all work. She wanted to make sure her studies would not suffer and says Long Bay College staff have been incredibly supportive in helping her meet her academic and sporting commitments.
“I do pride myself on high achievement and I want to have the other pillars of my life strong too. The teachers at Long Bay College care about what you are doing in your life and have helped me to make adjustments to my work schedule. It’s about communication with my teachers about work plans and discussing the expectations I have of myself and what I need to achieve. If I didn’t have that, FPC may have taken a toll.”
In her final year of school, Latisha hopes to represent the College one last time as co-captain of the Girls Rugby team at the Rugby Sevens tournament where the team have enjoyed consecutive years of success. For Latisha, the school team has been like a ‘sisterhood’.
“The team has given me so much. We really put our bodies on the line for each other. I’d really like to have that opportunity again [to play in the sevens tournament] in my last year, with my girls.”