Dingley Dingoes Under 14 player Darcy Russell has been awarded the Monash University Leadership Award for the month of May.
Having taken up football in her early primary school years, Darcy is one of the more experienced players on her team.
“I’ve always really liked sport and in Year 3 my friend invited me to do Auskick here (at Dingley), so that’s when I really started to get into footy,” she said.
“I like the tackling part, and I like to be in a team. Just be around each other.”
Darcy said she was thrilled to learn that her coach had nominated her for the Monash University Leadership Award.
“I felt really excited. I was really happy I almost screamed I was that excited,” she lauged.
“A good leader knows how to be nice to your teammates and not be mean to them,” she said when asked about what skills a good leader should possess.
“I’m always supporting my teammates and giving them constructive feedback if it’s needed. I also want to cheer them up if they’re feeling down.
Her season highlight to this point was brought about by her skills in another sport she participates in.
“I do karate and I don’t know what happened, but in the first game of the season I went to go and smother the ball and I did a bit a of ‘hey-ya!’ karate chop smother. My whole team just burst out laughing.”
Darcy’s coach, Brei Abbott, was full of praise for the youngster, saying she was always looking to help her team.
“The girls watch and listen to Darcy’s words and feel empowered to follow her footsteps. She has also had a huge impact on me as coach, taking my words and turning them into action on the field,” she said.
“A once in a blue moon a player like Darcy comes along and truly picks up your team spirit and lets it fly across and within every player, coach and parent.
“She is always the frst player to put her hand up for suggestions for gameplay and always encouraging teammates.”
South Metro Junio Football League and Monash University congratulate Darcy on her continued efforts to support her team on the field.
If you would like to nominate someone at your club for the Monash Leadership Award, you can do so here. Nominees must be under 18 years of age and be currently involved with an SMJFL club or the league.