UQ student and emerging hockey star Claire Colwill is experiencing a whirlwind of emotions after being selected to represent Australia at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham this week.
The second-year Bachelor of Clinical Exercise Physiology student has already had an extremely busy year, making her debut with the Hockeyroos in Auckland in May before helping the side to claim bronze in the FIH Women’s World Cup , played in Spain and the Netherlands recently.
Ms Colwill said she was thrilled to be ticking off so many sporting goals in such quick succession.
"There’s no memory that will ever top p laying my first cap for the Hockeyroos," Ms Colwill said.
"I have no doubt it will always be a highlight of my sporting career.
"But being able to represent Australia at the Commonwealth Games is a true honour and a privilege."
The 19-year-old midfielder began playing hockey in primary school in Mackay.
She said growing up in regional Queensland allowed her to focus on her chosen sport with support from a tight-knit community.
" Mackay was definitely where I learned the core skills of hockey," Ms Colwill said.
"At this stage of my career I’ve got the best coaches, facilities and equipment but I’ll always appreciate the time and support I was first given back home."
She follows in the footsteps of fellow Mackay athletes such as Olympians Cathy Freeman and Geoff Huegill, as well as Australian hockey representatives Baeden Choppy, Stephen Lambert, Matthew Swann, Tracey Belbin, Kirsten Dwyer and Teneal Attard.
"Their achievements inspire me as they have many young athletes, all around the world."
Ms Colwill said she knows her parents and the UQ and Mackay communities will be following her Commonwealth Games campaign from home.
"There’ll be plenty of people cheering me on, sending their love and support," she said.
In total, eight UQ students, alumni and community members will compete at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, five of whom are Para-athletes.
Sport: Diving (10m Individual Platform)
Course : Master of Physiotherapy
Sport: Swimming (200m Butterfly)
Course: Bachelor of Advanced Science
Sport: Swimming (200m Individual Medley)
Course: Bachelor of Communication
Sport: Para Triathlon (Guide for Erica Burleigh)
Course: Bachelor of Health, Sport and Physical Education
Sport: Swimming (200m Freestyle)
UQ Swim Club Member
Sport: Swimming ( 100m Backstroke)
Sport: Swimming (100m Backstroke)
Course: Bachelor of Engineering (Honours)