Sister Act

first_imgThese sisters are not only doing it for themselves and their country but someone very special as well. By Julian Buckmaster – @JulianTFAAh, siblings. Everyone knows the blood-line connection and the love that flows and the loathing and conflict that grows that only a family best knows and delivers. And all usually under the same roof and the same protagonists looking for a different result doing the same thing. Sound familiar?Domestic bliss, hey? The competitions, the agreements the disagreements, the indiscretions. The bonds and ties that bind. The fights and frights and shared highs and lows. The equal part harmony and hegemony that makes up the fabric of the modern household. The rivalry.And in the middle of it all you have the parents. You have to love the lot of a parent – referee, judge, jury, provider, decider and pacifier. Somehow seemingly keeping it all together and with a referees whistle always on the ready and the smile behind gritted teeth to keep the peace.Now, for the purposes of this piece let’s quietly ask the boys to slip outside and perhaps, go climb a tree, hit the back shed or better still, run amok with the Touch Football in the backyard as we focus on the important ones. The girls.History is seemingly littered with successful Australian female siblings.In the literary world you have the famous Bronte sisters; in music, the Minogue’s and the Veronicas’ sisters have it sussed and before all them the Andrews sisters from another time and age. In modelling it’s the Hart’s captivating the world’s catwalks and gaze. Even the tourism landmarks/landforms get a gig with the famous three sisters in the Blue Mountains…but that’s another story entirely.However, it’s in the Australian sporting world that something particularly curious is emerging and warrants examination. The Campbell sisters are probably the most prominent from the Australian public’s view; certainly capturing the imagination and most of the headlines in their quest for gold in Rio later this year. Cate Campbell said it best in a recent SMH report: “So special. So special. To compete in a relay with Bronte; that was always our dream, because it’s the only time we can swim together instead of against each other.”But at the elite Touch Football level, there is, as they say in our sport’s vernacular, certainly a pattern developing here.What it is exactly that runs through the Touch Football family tree that is breeding success in the female format, we can’t be sure – nurture? Nature? Combination of both?Something we do know is that a very rich and rare commodity seems to run in the veins of those successful siblings representing their country; which probably needs bottling and a good deal of explaining.As opposed to other sporting codes, for the Australian Women’s Open team, this would require a major enquiry to get to the bottom and foundation of this gene pool genius.Consider the conga line of sisters doing it not only for themselves but their younger/older siblings on the current stage, seeking International titles and Test honours.In the 2016 set-up we turn to the Davis sisters of Manly in Sydney; Danni and Shellie that currently carry the family flame and a burning desire to succeed together. With Danni establishing herself in the side and now regarded as a senior team member competing at several Australian campaigns, it is Shellie who is making her debut alongside her elder sis in the green and gold this week and revelling in the team alongside sister, Danni. “Having Danni at every step and watching her pathway has made me feel inspired and made my Touch career more exciting. Being able to learn and watch her has really assisted me and I hope the both of us,” she said with Danni not for the first time, by her side at the team hotel in Auckland, on the eve of the tournament.Naturally this all brings a knowing smile and perhaps a glint of a tear to older sister Danni.“Playing for Australian women’s has always been a tremendous honour and goal for me and always amazing. But once Shellie started making her way through state and youth national teams I knew she wouldn’t be far away from cracking the women’s team.“We train a lot together and do a lot of one-on-ones. We always talk about the little things like winning the rucks and talk; but now it’s actually happening [representing together] it’s just…unbelievable.“We play in a local competition as well with a lot of younger girls coming through; so we spend a fair bit of time together with reps across the board and wouldn’t want it any other way. When quizzed on her knowledge of the sisterhood preceding her in the national team, she was as quick in response as one of her snipes on the field careering towards the tryline.“We look at and are inspired by those before us: the Judds, the Winchesters and Hopkin girls and it is something really special to be a part of this special group of sisters competing at the highest level.“I consider everyone from Touch Football as special and family so it just all goes with the territory I guess.”The Davis girls’ teammate, Sammy Hopkin continues her great form of late but is doing so without her older sister and wife of superstar, Dylan Hennessey, Emily Hennessey (nee Hopkin) this week in Auckland. A superstar duo this pair. The sisters that is.And, not to be outdone and also from the Peninsula, only one half of the Peattie sisters feature this week with Laura representing her national colours and family crest. Sister, Sarah meanwhile is on the comeback from injury but already has a decorated career and we look forward to seeing her back in the green and gold soon. Now, cast your mind back further as we reflect back on this roll-call of Touch royalty that spans the generations past and carried through to the present.The Winchester sisters, Captain Louise and Canterbury colleague, Claire who represented Australia together on numerous occasions, dating back to the 2007 World Cup, were two of the most recognisable sisters in the game. Before them came the Judd twins who marched triumphantly across the globe up until recently – Kristy and Amanda. And, before them it was the Maher’s of Cronulla – Gaby, Kitty and Dom Maher who dominated proceedings in the late-80s and early 90’s (with Fiona an honourable mention making State Mixed teams) and setting the bar at a lofty height with a near team of sisters.Shifting focus to the millennium past, perhaps very fittingly, it was the wife of recently retired Australian Women’s Coach, Peter Bell, Catherine Bell (nee Barr and her sister Angela), who represented their country with aplomb and along with the McWhirter sisters (Susan and Maria), who set the tone as forbearers of things to come.And long may their reign in the green and gold continue and we can only hope for many sequels of these ‘Sisters Acts’, long into in the future.  We’ll be keeping you up-to-date with all of the latest news, information and results from the series on our website and social media channels, so you won’t miss any of the action:Website: www.touchfootball.com.auFacebook: www.facebook.com/touchfootballaustraliaTwitter: www.twitter.com/touchfootyausInstagram: www.instagram.com/touchfootballaustraliaYouTube: www.youtube.com/touchfootballausSnapchat – search for ‘TFAofficial’Be sure to use the hashtags #transtasman2016, #oneteam and #teamaustralia across all of our social media platforms.To watch Touch New Zealand’s live streaming, please click here.Related LinksSister Actlast_img

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