Annie Leyland
Annie Leyland

Ipswich teacher setting fine example with sporting goals

SHE plays for Western Pride in state league football and is about to represent her country in futsal.

She teaches children, coaches young people in her own time and plays against the men to improve her skills.

She even works two jobs to help subsidise her sporting dreams.

Ipswich born and bred Annie Leyland (pictured) sets a wonderful example for her students.

It only takes a few minutes chatting to the Silkstone State School teacher to realise how dedicated she is.

She rarely has a day or night off such is her commitment to her sporting career, work and helping others.

Given her dedication, it's easy to see why she's been chosen to represent Australia on a three-week tour to the United States next month.

That honour came after the Leichhardt-based achiever recovered from a left foot operation last year.

"I have more tenacity because I spent that whole year helping the assistant coach and my teammates,'' she said.

"I had major surgery and had a moon boot on for a few months there as well.

"I've got my drive from being on the sideline and cheering on all my mates.''

However, as is the plight of many amateur and semi-professional sportspeople, Leyland has to pay to represent her country.

She needs $5000 to cover her costs.

As she's been teaching for seven years, she's yet to receive any long service leave so has to finance her international goal.

Leyland welcomes any help or sponsorship, from new playing boots to financial assistance.

"I'm absolutely stoked to be able to get the opportunity to go,'' she said. "I can't believe I managed to make it.''

Working at Ipswich PCYC for the past 10 years as a second job shows how serious she is about achieving her goals.

Leyland has represented the Ipswich region in futsal and football since 2008, captaining the Queensland West futsal team at the national championships in Sydney.

"I stepped it up a notch in the last two years,'' she said.

Before that, the former University of Southern Queensland Springfield student started playing futsal socially at Redbank and Swifts Sports Club at Booval.

"From there, I was having fun and then started to improve in that area,'' she said.

She plays for West Moreton Warriors in the Brisbane Futsal League and lines up at Acacia Ridge in a men's competition to sharpen her skills.

The former St Mary's student also joined Western Pride in this season's National Premier League's state competition, increasing her weekly training and playing demands.

"It's definitely been a big journey coming from having a year off, losing all muscle tone, becoming quite unfit and then turning around in a couple months,'' the right back said.

"I'm keeping my second job to try and help me fund my soccer.

"I'm really pushing it to try and succeed in this, and it's not going to stop with the US tour.''


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