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Fast five with Gemma Schnaubelt

A talented athlete, Gemma Schnaubelt has been making her mark in rugby league in recent seasons.

After claiming the player of the match honours in the South East Queensland Women's Division 1 grand final last season with the West Brisbane Panthers, Schnaubelt has also taken part in a number of representative opportunities, playing for the PNG Orchids last season and also being selected in the Queensland Female Performance Program squad.

Schnaubelt played as fullback for the Panthers in their first BHP Premiership game in Round 1 this year, but with the competition called off for the year, she took the time to take the 'fast five' questions challenge. 

Fast five with Gemma Schnaubelt

Football family - does anyone else in your family play? Who and with which team?

Dad didn't play footy growing up. He was playing a lot of golf and was into karate in his days and mum was a sprinter and netballer growing up. I only have sisters and they're all like mum and are into netball as well. I do have an uncle, Ryan Tongia, who who was with the Gold Coast Titans - not in first grade, but he played in the Toyota Cup a few years back before moving to New Zealand and switching to rugby union. He did however also represent the PNG Kumuls in 2010 in the Four Nations tournament.

I also have a younger cousin, Liam Horne, currently with the North Devils in the Intrust Super Cup competition. This year was going to be a big year for him, I know he definitely wants to also represent the PNG Kumuls sometime in the near future, so I was really excited to see him kill the 2020 season. Other than that, a lot of my family play other sport not so much footy, but they are mad rugby league supporters.

Favourite footy memory?

The England versus PNG Orchids test match in Port Moresby is definitely my favourite memory yet. I got the call-up for the squad a few weeks after winning the SEQ Women's Division 1 competition with the West Brisbane Panthers club for the Nines World Cup, however, I was injured so that ruled me out of the October tournament. However, I was back on my feet in time for the Test matches that occurred in Goroka and Port Moresby in November.

Winning the second Test match was special. Not only did I get the opportunity to represent my heritage on home soil and in front of majority of my family, but I was also a part of the squad that made history that day by winning our first ever game for the PNG Orchids. A lot of emotions were shown that day, it was a really special moment for everyone that had been involved with the PNG Orchids for the last two years, so it's definitely a memory I'll never forget. 

Match Highlights: PNG Orchids v England

Fashion - what’s the most worn item in your wardrobe?

Scrunchies. I love having my scrunchies match my day to day outfits.

Fitness tips? Any favourite exercises / tips for staying motivated? 

For me, I like having a partner to train with so that I always have somebody that can kind of push me to my limits. My favourite exercises probably include high intensity training and a lot of upper body training. I'm pretty small in size, so I like to make sure my upper body is strong so I can tackle all the big and stronger girls out on that footy field. 

I guess my tips for staying motivated are just setting goals you want to achieve and personally, I like to surround myself with people who make me want to be better than I was yesterday and work hard towards my goals, especially during these times. I'm lucky, my mum pushes me to stay on my feet everyday, even if it's a walk around the block.

Find out more - is there anything you are studying, reading, watching now that you are spending more time at home? 

I think personally for me, I've been using my time by spending most of it being around my younger siblings a lot more. I was playing 7s with the PNG Palais for the last two years and was travelling a lot out of the country, going on tours around the world and a lot of the time was also travelling back-and-forth to PNG for training camps. So now that I'm home and not really travelling, I definitely have had more time to watch movies and be around them, whether it's helping them with school work and just spending more quality time, rather than training 24/7 or being out of the country a lot. Otherwise, I've picked up a new hobby and go fishing with my family, and I finally started reading a few books I received as gifts. Mum and I have challenged ourselves going on the keto diet too.

Favourite footy photo

Representing the PNG Orchids. Photo: supplied by Gemma Schnaubelt
Representing the PNG Orchids. Photo: supplied by Gemma Schnaubelt


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Queensland Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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