RAPID RISE: Ipswich-based Queensland gridiron player Jody Smith is chasing higher honours.
RAPID RISE: Ipswich-based Queensland gridiron player Jody Smith is chasing higher honours. TL Photography Australia

Sporty mum setting high goals after national camp

IPSWICH mum Jody Smith was one of 35 players from Gridiron Queensland who recently attended the first National Outback Gridiron training camp.

The five-day camp at the Sunshine Coast featured special guest Jen Welter, the first female to play professional football with men and the NFL's first female coach for the Arizona Cardinals.

Along with Welter were other team USA Championship winning coaches Anthony Stone and John Kenecki.

About 100 players from around the country attended the camp. They are hopeful of securing a place on the first Australian national women's team to compete in the IFAF World Cup in 2017.

"It truly was an amazing experience, to be coached and mentored by such amazing coaches," Smith said, after returning home from the camp.

With the players waiting to find out if they have made the next round of trials for the Australian team, Smith and many of her fellow Queensland players are in training for the Queensland Sun Devils Women's team defending their title in the WAGL championship against NSW.

The first game is in Queensland next month.

Smith, a 32 year old mother of two, has been playing American Football - affectionately known in Australia as gridiron - since 2013.

With only a short career in the sport, the Raceview-based resident has made her mark.

"In my rookie year I was selected for the Queensland team to take part in the first ever WAGL Championship, that Queensland took out of course,'' she said.

"This was a massive stepping stone in wanting to get better and take it further.''

Playing her first two years with the Western Jaguars out of Wacol, Smith handles both offensive and defensive positions.

"Defence is where my heart is but you can't beat ironman football where you play both sides of the ball,'' she said.

In her second year of playing, Smith took out the Gridiron Queensland defensive MVP player award. Among the nominations for the award were many talented players from across Queensland.

"In the 2015 season I played for the Kenmore Panthers as the Jaguars couldn't field a team and was honoured to receive the Best Defensive Skilled Position award,'' she said.

Smith is striving toward being the best player she can be, working on building strength and speed to dominate in her position of middle linebacker.

She welcomes backing from any local businesses.

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