Coast women make history in Australian-first gridiron team
IF YOU'VE ever jeered at somebody saying they "throw like a girl”, you should see Casey Cubis play.
The Kuluin woman is one of three Coast female gridiron players who have been selected for Australia's first-ever women's team, which will travel to Canada this year for the world championships.
Alongside teammates Rhianna Kuss and Bradie Clucas, the quarterback said she was excited for the opportunity to represent her country and inspire young women in sport.
"I'm personally extremely proud to be selected because it's something nobody can take from you,” she said.
"It's the chance to be a part of history.”
Ms Kuss said though awareness was increasing, people were still unsure what it meant when she told them she played American football.
"People ask me 'oh, is that the lingerie league?',” she said.
"It's gotten a lot better because after people come to watch you play, they see you throw and they see you hit, they see you're playing the game like the blokes do,” Ms Clucas said.
Ms Cubis said she had come from a background in AFL, which has recently made headlines with its inaugural women's league.
"I loved the contact side of the sport,” she said.
"I like the challenge of learning something new too, so when the opportunity came up to play gridiron, I took it.
"I love surprising people and proving them wrong.”
The Australian team will face off against teams from the USA, Canada, Mexico, the UK and Finland in June, meaning all three women will be ramping up their training in preparation for the fierce competition.
Ms Kuss, who plays defensive backer, admitted to feeling a little nervous.
"It's going to take a lot of work,” she said.
"But it's exciting. It's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”
The women, all of whom also work day jobs, will need to pay their own way and would appreciate any sponsorship.
Ms Cubis can be contacted via firstname.lastname@example.org.
The players also appreciate any individual donations, which can be made via the below links.
Bradie Clucas: https://www.gofundme.com/australian-national-gridiron-team
Rhianna Kuss: https://www.gofundme.com/ren-aust-national-gridiron-team