Bond University set to become home to Gold Coast women’s rugby
Bond University Sports Management student Emily Bass has been named in the first ever Australian Uniroos women’s rugby sevens team to compete at the World University Games in Wales on July 7-9.
The 17 year-old former Scot’s PCG College student, who originally hails from Diranbandi in south-west Queensland, was called up to play with the Uniroos following a camp in Sydney earlier this month.
“I’ll be the grommet of the team, but I’m really looking forward to the chance to play for Australia, and appreciate the fantastic support I’m getting from Bond,” she said.
“It’s very exciting to be a member of the first Australian women’s rugby sevens team to compete at this event.”
As a member of the University’s Bond Elite Sport Program (BESP), Emily received backing from the Elite Athlete Fund to go towards her trip to Wales for the World Uni Games and also receives support in balancing her sport and study through flexible study loads and mentoring.
The talented scrum-half and wing is relatively new to the game of rugby, but has been a keen competitive athlete since a young age.
“About five years ago I started hurdles and within a few years I was competing at a national level,” Bass said.
At the 2015 Oceanic Athletic Championships, she won gold in the 400m hurdles and in the 4 x 100m hurdle relay, setting two new Oceanic records in the process.
“It wasn’t until two years ago that I started playing women’s rugby sevens through Scot’s College - and I absolutely loved it,” she said.
Emily went onto play for the Darling Downs regional team and was then chosen in the Queensland Reds Youth Squad in 2014.
Unfortunately, following the Oceanic Championships Emily was diagnosed with a stress fracture in her foot which put her out of action for 10 months, while she completed her senior year at Scot’s.
“The break from competing gave me the chance to focus on my studies in my senior year and recover from my injury,” she said.
“Although I was on crutches or in a moon boot, I hit the gym and the pool hard, working on my upper body strength, fitness and conditioning, which was actually a big benefit to me when I returned to rugby.”
In January this year Emily recommenced pre-season training with the Queensland Reds. She currently plays and trains with them one night a week and on weekends, plus she trains with the Bond women’s rugby team on Thursday evenings.
“It’s absolutely brilliant being able to walk five minutes from the dorms to Bond’s rugby fields, rather than driving an hour down and back to Brisbane,” she said.
“The Bond women’s team may not have as many players as Brisbane, but they have great skills and an excellent knowledge of the game.
“A lot of the Queensland Reds girls who live on the coast come to train with us each week, which is a huge benefit and source of motivation, as is our coach Josh Fuimaono, who is also captain of Bond’s Premier rugby team.
According to Bond University’s Director of Rugby, Sean Hedger, part of the Club’s strategic plan is to get a women’s sevens team up and running on the Gold Coast.
“There are a large number of well-credentialed women’s rugby players on the Gold Coast, including Amber Pilley, who is currently under a development contract with ARU,” Hedger said.
“Not only do we have the talent on the coast, but here at Bond we have the facilities, coaching expertise and support that is needed to start-up a robust, competitive women’s rugby team.
“Up until now, Gold Coast women’s rugby players have had to travel to and from Brisbane to train with clubs there, but hopefully that won’t be the case much longer as Bond University is poised and primed to become the home of women’s rugby on the Gold Coast.”
More than 20 women - a mix of Bond students and other non-students from across the region - currently attend the Bond Rugby women’s sevens team training, which takes place on Tuesday and Thursday evenings at 5.15pm at the Bond University rugby fields.
Bond welcomes all newcomers, regardless of their level of ability, to join the training sessions. For more information, contact [email protected].