Year 5 student determined to play despite broken wrist
JAMILLA Rankin is not letting a bad break stop her enjoying the soccer experience of a lifetime.
Despite recently snapping her wrist while on the pitch, the 10-year-old will join her Rosebank Public School mixed side at the New South Wales Small Schools Knockout competition in Sydney.
The school only has 48 pupils and practices on its small playing fields, but has earned its place at the statewide event with a series of convincing wins.
Year five student Jamilla is determined to defy her injury and help her side achieve success at Thursday's tournament.
"I just love playing and I didn't want to let the team down," she said.
"I love playing for this team. We all get along and play as a team.
"It's just good fun."
Jamilla, who has been playing football since kindergarten and has earned junior FNC representative stripes, said her team could improve on last year's unsuccessful effort.
"I think we have a better team this year," she said. "We are all a year older and a year better.
"I love playing sport and soccer is really fun."
The school will also have another regional representative to cheer on at the competition.
Blakebrook Public School has also earned a berth at the state section after coming though the regional qualifying section.
School principal Nickie Bartlett congratulated Blakebrook for its progress and said the trip was the reward for her pupils' hard work.
"The kids have put in a lot of effort and then reap the benefits," she said.
"They also have great parents and coaches who take them to matches and help them as well.
"I guess this shows that you do not need big pitches and wonderful facilities to do well. You need a supportive community, kids setting goals and a school community that is proud of their achievements."
Bartlett said she hoped the experience would give the pupils some long-lasting memories.
"It is not every day that a little school like ours gets to play an event like this," she said.
"I think the kids will be talking about this for many years to come."