The Manly Mermaids are an exciting group of players with fantastic sporting background and many ties to the Manly Rugby club. Familiar names like Aliyah Helu (daughter of ex-Marlin and Mermaids coach Alex Helu) has continued the Manly rugby family tradition by wearing the manly jersey, together with Mikaela Hedge who is excited to now be able to put on the boots as well after watching her brother Rohan play for the Marlins.
On Saturday the Manly Mermaids will have the chance to showcase Australia's fastest growing women's sport with a curtain raiser game against Easts at Manly Oval. The game will take place at 2:55pm before the Marlins first grade kick off in their fourth round Shute Shield game.
Let's hear all about the World of Women's Seven's by getting up close and personal to one of our most promising players, Mikaela Hedge...
So, tell us about your playing career – where did you start your rugby career?
I started training in 2014 at 21 with the mermaids.
How has your season been progressing – are you where you want to be?
The season has been a struggle with numbers this year, we just want more game time so we can keep improving. Exhibition matches like this are perfect!
What are your personal goals for the season?
I need to get over my fear of tackling. I know I can do it, it's all a mental game.
Biggest rugby moment/achievement so far?
Being invited to train with the NSW Blue Belles Squad in 2016 felt pretty good
Best attribute as a player? Or worst?
I talk... a lot.
What’s your day job and how do you balance the two?
I'm a nurse which means shift work. Getting to every single training is a tough job sometimes but I love getting a run around with the girls so I do my best to organise my days off for trainings and tournaments where I can. People at work can't believe I use my days off to play rugby of all things..
Player with the best work ethic and why?
Emily (Bollinger) is killing it. Full time work, full time uni, travels to training in Manly from Roseville and puts in 100% every time.
Anything with guac.
Who at the club has the best/worst banter?
Half the girls aren't even 18 yet. There's much drinking yet to be had.
If you could attend any sporting event in the world what would it be?
The Olympic Games in Tokyo
Rugby Hero/Sporting Hero/Hero?
Dan Carter. I know, I'm a traitor. But the man is all class 👌🏼
One word to describe you?