Sport

Aussie passion embraces league

GAME ON MOVE: Ladies Football League founder Tala Schultz (left) runs through some drills with Dallas Diamonds player and former US women’s national team player Jen Welter.
GAME ON MOVE: Ladies Football League founder Tala Schultz (left) runs through some drills with Dallas Diamonds player and former US women’s national team player Jen Welter. David Nielsen

DALLAS Diamonds gridiron star Jen Welter has been in Ipswich promoting the Ladies Football League (LFL) of Australia and has been overwhelmed by the passion of locals for the game.

Welter was invited to Australia by the LFL and is assisting to promote the competition and see it prosper.

"I have been following the ladies from early on…and I have been blessed to see them blossom," she said.

"The support they have received has been overwhelming and it makes me so happy to see how it has been embraced here by the people of Ipswich.

"It has been a very positive experience overall.

"I can't think of many other places in the world where the culture is so open to contact sport."

Ladies Football League Australia executive director and founder Tala Schultz is pushing to have the headquarters of the league in Ipswich.

There are five gridiron teams in south-east Queensland with the Ipswich Miners the local side.

Teams are being set up in all states.

"It is a national league that teaches women the game of gridiron and adds to the smorgasbord of sports in Australia," Schultz said.

"We want to empower women to be fit, funky and fabulous and to be driven to stay fit.

"The Ladies Football League of Australia brought Jen out here from a consultative and experienced professional athlete's point of view to assist us to continue to set this up.

"She is our crystal ball."

Schultz said the competition had received tremendous support from the Ipswich Sports House and Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale.

Welter was a guest speaker at the LFL presentation night recently where she encouraged the girls and gave them a vision of where the sport can go.

She also put a few of the girls through some drills and gave them some pointers.

"That was a lot of fun because the girls just want to learn and get better," she said.

Welter is a line-backer for the Diamonds in the US Women's Football Alliance.

She is an eight-time All Star player and has won four championships with the Diamonds.

Welter was also in the inaugural US women's team that won the gold medal at the 2010 Women's World Championships where she was selected in the All World team.

Welter was a prop in rugby union at college where she was a pocket rocket at five foot two and half the size of the other girls.

She got her chance to play full contact gridiron and took to it like a duck to water.

Like Ipswich legend Allan Langer, she showed that size doesn't matter when you have the talent and a big heart.

"I wasn't sure if I would make it because of my size, which is what held me back in rugby," she said.

"But I knew if I didn't try it, I would never forgive myself.

"I sucked it up and tried it anyway.

"That has been a hallmark of me as a player. I was always the little, feisty one."

Topics:  gridiron




Join the Community.

Get your local news, your way.

Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Backyard fight turns ugly for man linked to Samoan royalty

A man linked to Samoan royalty was sentenced in Ipswich District Court.

Man linked to Samoan royalty escapes spending time behind bars

Residents awoken by road rage "demolition derby"

Police generic, crime scene.  Photo Tessa Mapstone / South Burnett Times

Police called to Raceview following violent road rage incident

Quiet Nem makes big impact

Ipswich Jets player Carlin Anderson.

Ipswich flyer earns Qld reward

Latest deals and offers

Family of fire victim talk to media

Police at the scene of a fatal house fire in Ipswich.

Family of Maurice Sutton -who was killed in a One Mile fire on Thursday morning...

Blake Lively Film Shot on Gold Coast

Blake Lively in The Shallows.

New trailer for shark thriller The Shallows starring Blake Lively.

Dash Cam of Head-on Crash

Head-on crash after overtaking in fog.

Disaster as driver overtakes in fog at night.

Demand for acreage lots pushes up property prices

Property values in Cooroy have increased 25%

Property values jump in Cooroy and Peachester.

How a sacked real estate agent made $725k in four months

Agent is now under investigation by the industry watchdog

RBA warns of future apartment oversupply

Toowoomba: Crest Apartments and Burke & Wills, Ruthven Street ( view from Neil Street) Photo Bev Lacey / The Chronicle

RBA says oversupply of apartments poses risk to household finances