Young Australian women's 7s star inspires at Expo
WHEN Grace Kaihau was a kid, she had to stop playing the game she loved.
But after being inspired by Australia's women's 7s march all the way to an Olympic Gold medal at the 2016 Rio Olympics, the path became clearer for Kaihau.
"I had to play rugby union with the boys to an age where I couldn't play any more, so I quit for a couple of years. But after watching the girls in the Olympics, I had to get back into it,” Kaihau said.
Now one of the brightest young stars in women's 7s, the 17-year-old has represented Australia at junior level and is a national squad development player.
When she found out there was a chance to come to Mackay for the annual Sports Expo and Sign On Day on Sunday, she jumped at the chance.
"It's pretty special as this is where it all starts, and it's good to see there's girls out there willing to come along and play,” Kaihau said.
"They're wondering how I did it, so I'm trying to give them a little bit of inspiration.”
Mackay District Junior Rugby Union president said the organisation had been planning the for a couple of years, and there had been plenty of interest in the stall.
"The theme is women in sport so we've gone all out,” Blackhurst said.
"We've been prepared for this for last couple of years. We had 7s on board last year, so it's fitting to get an Australian player down here to show young girls what they can achieve.”
"Grace has been through the pathway, and some of our girls were selected for Central Queensland, so it shows them the pathway is there.”