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Weipa talent Rebecca Sepon looks to build team bonds

Being a part of the Queensland Under 17 Country Girls line up could give winger Rebecca Sepon the support she has been looking for.

The Weipa product is the first girl to be selected for the Country representative team from the remote town on the Cape York Peninsula.

This in itself is an incredible milestone and Sepon is lost for words when she thinks about what this opportunity means, not just for herself, but her community.

However, for the 16-year-old, the most crucial part of her experience in camp this week, ahead of Saturday’s clash with City, is to be part of that team environment.

Opportunities to play rugby league in Weipa, particularly for girls and women, are not easy to come by.

Sepon started playing the game in primary school and began to take it more seriously after doing boarding school for one year in Innisfail.

But with no regular competitions available in Weipa, she has been craving that team backing.

Rebecca Sepon at QLD Under 17 Country girls training. Photo: Zain Mohammed/QRL
Rebecca Sepon at QLD Under 17 Country girls training. Photo: Zain Mohammed/QRL

“My goal as a player, I really want the support,” Sepon said.

“Every player needs the support and that’s one of my main goals for this game … get the support with coaching and team building.

“I’m the first (Weipa player for Country), which is kinda cool. Weipa doesn’t have those opportunities.

“I got sent away to school in under 15s for better education and more opportunities to play footy and other sports. It was pretty hard. Moving away, you pretty much will feel homesick.

“Having those kinds of feelings is tough but it’s the best for you to reach for those opportunities that you get.”

Sepon, holding the
Sepon, holding the

Despite not having a regular competition to play in, Sepon was quick to jump on an opportunity to put herself forward for North Queensland United, who took part in a Northern carnival that served as part of the selection process for the City versus Country match.

Queensland Maroons and Australian Jillaroos great Renae Kunst – who is also the Queensland Rugby League North region manager – was doing development clinics in the region earlier this year, when she advertised the trials.

“We had this meeting about City v Country in one of our schools,” Sepon said.

“(Renae) talked about pathways and she said there was a trial for opens and under 17s. A couple of the girls trialled and I got selected.

“I’m feeling a little nervous because it’s my first time. But other than that, it’s pretty great.”

Kunst was particularly impressed to see Sepon’s name on the Country team list - the only North Queensland United player who made the final cut.

She said Sepon’s inclusion would serve as inspiration for other players in remote areas, particularly those in the Western Cape and Torres Strait Islands.

“No matter where you are in the region or state, this shows that there’s an opportunity to be part of our pathways moving forward,” Kunst said.

“We take great pride in ensuring we have every avenue possible for those in our most rural and remote communities, to give them an opportunity to play representative footy.”

Acknowledgement of Country

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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