By Jordan Hughes
American-born Shannon Gill had never even seen a game of rugby until she came to study at Bond in 2017.
Now she’s a cornerstone of the Bond Rugby program, getting injured players back on the field as part of the Bull Sharks physio team.
Hailing from Boston, Massachusetts, Gill moved to Australia to study a Bachelor of Exercise and Sports Science at Bond University.
Her first match at the Canal was an eye-opener.
“It was all very confusing to be honest, you can’t pass forward like in American football, the lineouts looked like a cheerleading routine.
“It took some time to take it all in, but I really enjoy the game and I have a good understanding of it now,” she said.
It was an Aussie physio in the US who first set Gill on the path to her current career.
“Just three months after I graduated high school I was dealing with a couple of big injuries and the physios that I came across who studied in Australia were my favourite.
“Maybe it was just their personalities, but their methods suited really me and funnily enough, I had met a graduate of the Bond University’s Doctor of Physiotherapy program and he encouraged me to apply,” said Gill.
Gill first started working closely with Bond Rugby during her studies, when the club started using GPS tracking units. Gill was one of the first students to put them into practice.
“My whole time at the club has been really enjoyable, I just love the culture, everyone is so willing to get involved,” she said.
“The growth of women within the club and the sport has been huge, there is so much opportunity for not just the men’s game but the women’s as well.”
Gill has worked particularly closely with the Women’s 15s and 7s teams over the last three seasons.
“I progressed from sports trainer to physio and have really loved it, it’s been great to see the girls grow over recent seasons and progress into higher honours and be able to see all new young talent coming through,” she said.
After graduating with her bachelor’s degree, Gill progressed into her Doctor of Physiotherapy which she completed last year.
Outside of her Bull Sharks commitments, Gill juggles three positions with the University’s Physio program, Bond’s Physiotherapy and Sports Medicine Clinic and Pindara Physiotherapy.
The 24-year-old has worked with a number of sporting bodies and teams including Queensland Touch football, the Queensland Reds Super W youth teams and school programs at Kings Christen College and Robina State High.
Gill is known around the club as an extremely bubbly and happy character and her positive attitude rubs off on others at Bond Rugby.