Ryle on road to success
AT AGE 16, Ryle Waugh has the polocrosse world at her feet after winning the best No.1 and champion horse in the under-24 women's grade at the Barastoc Polocrosse Nationals.
She didn't expect to make the Queensland team, let alone be in the same team as her older sister, Ella.
Better still, the Waugh sisters, from the Cunningham club, played in the same section along with Warwick player Katie Barr.
Ryle, the youngest player in the competition, is young enough to play in four more (biennial) nationals.
Her 10-year-old mare Emarillon Obsession is also young enough to play for the next decade after carrying Ryle for the past four years and in the mixed juniors at the Ballarat Nationals in 2010.
She hopes the same section may be able to stay together for Darwin in 2014.
Five of the seven players had a Southern Downs connection, with Jess Osborne and Sarah Ots part of the second section.
As for her chances of playing open polocrosse for Australia, Ryle said that was a long way away.
"Playing for Australia would be awesome," she said. "It would be great to even get close to that level one day."
If she or sister Ella play for Australia, they will be second-generation representatives, as their father, Allan Waugh, played for Australia against New Zealand, Zimbabwe and South Africa.
Ryle said while it was cool to receive the two awards, including a rug for the champion horse, polocrosse was a team sport.
"Number one is the glory (shooting) spot," she said.
"Ella and I play together in club competition and she feeds me a lot of ball, you have to be fed the ball."
In the past fortnight, the family aspect of polocrosse has come up time and again.
In many mixed competitions with the Cunningham club, the Waugh girls are in the women's section with a team-mate while Allan and their brother Todd play in the men's section.
The siblings' mother, Carmel Waugh, also plays polocrosse and is never far from the action when family members are playing.
There wasn't too much partying for Ryle last week; she headed home each night.