Coast’s Emma Sykes to represent Australia in three sports
ELLYSE Perry eat your heart out, Sunshine Coast's Emma Sykes will represent Australia in three sports this year while juggling school and work.
The 17-year-old has been picked to represent Australia at the Youth Commonwealth Games in Samoa next month in the rugby sevens.
Fresh from representing Australia in the Oz-tag 2015 Youth Trans-Tasman Series, Emma will follow that up later next month by competing in the under-18s touch rugby National Youth Championships on the Sunshine Coast.
Emma has been playing touch rugby since she was eight years old but only ventured into rugby sevens a year ago to be named as starting halfback for the Youth Commonwealth Games.
Emma said she was grateful to be chasing her dreams.
"To make this team I was pretty stoked," she said.
"I'm just excited to represent the country and go somewhere I haven't been before."
Still in year 12, Emma makes the hour-long drive to Brisbane at least three times a week to train or play for all three sports.
"I think my grades suffer a little bit but the school is pretty understanding," she said.
"Sometimes I don't focus because I'd rather be out on the field."
But Emma was being hard on herself as she continues to pass while juggling a part-time job at Woolworths on top of that.
Emma said that playing touch for almost 10 years meant it was still her favourite of the three sports, but she knows there is more potential in rugby sevens.
"At the moment I enjoy touch, but time will tell" she said.
"There is more opportunity and pathways rugby sevens than touch.
"I want to get out and see the world."
Emma's national duties had seen her travel all over Australia and make the Trans-Tasman trip to New Zealand twice.
She also has her eye firmly set on an Olympic debut, but with Rio just a year away she said she might wait until the 2020 games.