One punch at football sends girl to hospital
A 16-YEAR-old girl has told of her traumatic experience after she claims she was punched in the face during a rugby league match.
The Western Suburbs Panthers under-16s player said she suffered post-concussion syndrome, facial bruising and multiple seizures after the incident at Salter Oval during the weekend.
Tamica Vo was playing in the match between Wests and Brothers on Sunday when she said she was "blindsided" by an opposition player.
"As soon as she punched me I spun around and fell to the ground quickly," she said.
"All I can remember is people yelling and swearing, kissing me on the forehead and telling me it was going to be okay."
Miss Vo was taken to hospital via ambulance and underwent brain scans before doctors gave her the all clear.
She said tension between her and another had been escalating for weeks.
"It was due to something that happened two weeks ago," she said.
"I accidentally kicked the ball into her face and pushed her by accident and she fell to the ground, (and) called me an unpleasant name.
"We have never had a problem before that."
Miss Vo said emotions were still high during Sunday's game and claimed another altercation between the pair ended with the punch.
"We had another argument on the field and we got split up," she said.
"I don't remember much after that."
Miss Vo said she was drifting in and out consciousness during the ambulance ride and had "multiple seizures" after the assault.
She said doctors told her she would not be able to play any sport, including her beloved football, for a month due to her injuries.
"It has had a major impact on me," she said.
Bundaberg police have begun investigations and are appealing for witnesses or anyone who might have filmed the game to come forward.
Senior Sergeant Glenn Cameron said the assault was concerning.
"It isn't a regular occurrence but any occurrence of this nature is something we don't want to see," Snr Sgt Cameron said.
"It is very important to understand that these games are meant to be played in a friendly atmosphere.
"Incidents like this can be very dangerous and may have life-changing consequences for everyone involved."
The Bundaberg Junior Rugby League issued a statement to media today.
"The Bundaberg Junior Rugby League and the Queensland Rugby League have rules and processes in place to deal with on and off field incidents involving players, officials and spectators," the statement read.
"The League will follow these rules and processes in responding to the above incident in line with the zero tolerance policy on negative behaviour by all individuals or groups involved in Rugby League.
"The Bundaberg Junior Rugby League will not be making further comments at this stage."
Miss Vo said she wouldn't let the altercation get her down and urged others to think before fighting.
"I am just lucky to be here.
"This incident won't change who I am. I love my sport and I will continue to play."