Born for big things

ABBY Rae has been making a splash this year in the pool and it has paid off after she was selected in the Born 98 National Water Polo Talent Squad.

Rae is part of the NSW Emerging Development Squad, which is a national program with a squad in every state.

The program is a stepping stone to being selected in the NSW and Australian U18s squad, and a chance to play at the PanPac Games in New Zealand later in the year.

“It is very exciting and a great opportunity to improve my game and go further,” Rae said.

“To get the chance to represent my state and country is just amazing.” 

Rae will go to a training camp in Sydney at the end of the month as part of the 25 strong squad.

High performance trainers and elite coaches will put the girls through their paces and have a look at their individual games at four such camps over the year.

At the end of the camps a NSW U16s team will be named that will go on to further training and games in a bid to be named in the Australian Born 98 team.

The NSW side will play in the PanPac games and the McCarthy student would love the chance to represent on the international stage.

Sides from Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and all other Pacific Nations attend the Pan Pacific Youth Water Polo Festival.

“It would be such a good experience and is really something I would love to aim for,” Rae said.

Rae will get a couple of chances at the games after hitting this level at an early age.

The Games are contested at U14s, U16s, U18s and U20s.

Rae has had plenty of representative experience already playing for Tamworth in all available divisions.

This year she has played for Tamworth U16s, U18s and opens at the state titles, and has formerly represented the Hunter Region at the nationals.

“This selection in the Born 98 squad is easily the highlight of my career so far,” Rae said.

This weekend Rae will be training with the Hunter squad again in the Lambton Pool, before joining the new squad at Homebush on March 28.

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