The Baker-Pearce and Knight sisters play for the Richmond Rovers premier women’s team, which has nine players from three families playing together.
The Baker-Pearce and Knight sisters play for the Richmond Rovers premier women’s team, which has nine players from three families playing together.

It's a family affair at Rovers

Many clubs claim to be the ‘family club’, but Lismore Richmond Rovers have one team that presents pretty compelling evidence for their claim to be just that. I was directed to seek out four sisters playing together in Rovers’ premier women’s team and, much to my surprise, was told that there are in fact four sisters from one family and three from another.

Enter the Baker-Pearce girls, 17-year-old Indya, 18-year-old Jemma, 20-year-old Annika and 23-year-old Jacinta. Not to be out done, meet the girls from the Knight family, identical 17-year-old twins Laura and Ashley, with their 18-year-old sister Sophie. My efforts to get the whole seven together for a photo was thwarted by one having work commitments, but even getting six girls together at short notice was not a bad effort.

The participation of this many siblings in the same team is a remarkable situation and is the first time for either set of sisters that they have all played together in the one football team. With ages ranging from 17 to 23 there is every chance that the girls could have a few seasons together. What is even more astonishing is that these girls are competing in the premier division, showing that they are each talented players.

I suspect that having almost three quarters of the team comprising players from two families has its advantages. It would be easy to make contact about training or changes to schedule with two phone calls or texts getting the message to nearly everyone. It would also simplify the washing duties for the shirts because the coach could almost send them to one of these households all season saying ‘your turn’ and more than likely be correct.

There is of course a potential problem because if the flu was to infiltrate the family, there may be a few players missing all at once. There is also the potential that a family commitment could put a big hole in player numbers and one can only imagine what would happen if one of the girls decides to schedule a wedding during the football season. Oh brother, or should I say, sister?

The girls seem to have a bond that is often evident with multiple siblings and the positive influence on the team is evident. Yet another wonderful story of how sport brings people together and how clubs are often like a big happy family, or in this case, families.



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