Rockhampton’s Jodie Mulvihill, 15, loves competitive swimming despite most girls her age giving up sports for a full time social life.
Rockhampton’s Jodie Mulvihill, 15, loves competitive swimming despite most girls her age giving up sports for a full time social life. ALLAN REINIKKA AR

Jodie dives into sport

UNLIKE most teenagers her age, Jodie Mulvihill isn’t afraid of sport.

She’s been a competitive swimmer since she was eight and isn’t about to give it up now for a full-time social life.

State Government statistics show that girls aged 15 to 24 are less likely to participate in sport than men.

Yesterday Jodie said she noticed many of her friends weren’t interested in sport.

But despite that she also plays touch and netball through her school.

“I enjoy sport – it keeps me motivated,” she said yesterday before starting her three-hour swimming training.

Rockhampton Regional Council sport and recreation co-ordinator Melissa Walls said Rockhampton sporting clubs had struggled to keep kids in sport from about 15 years old.

She said the perception was that it wasn’t “cool” at that age.

Ms Walls said from her experience women tended to lean towards less structured physical activity such as walking, classes at the gym and social sports.

She said touch football and netball in Rockhampton received massive interest each year.

Jodie said she liked to keep a balance between sport and socialising.

She said she had also made many friends through swimming and competing.

On the weekend she took home an age champion trophy and two golds and one silver medal in the CQ Sprint Championships.

Councillor Cherie Rutherford, who has a huge interest in local sport, said a great way for women to find out about Rockhampton sports was to attend this month’s Amart Allsports’ Sports Expo.

She said all 80 stalls showcasing a range of sports would be on display with easy access to information.

“I grew up with sport,” Cr Rutherford said.

“I think it’s essential for youths and a great way to socially interact as well as learn ground rules and discipline.”

Cr Rutherford said Rockhampton women’s enrolments were definitely strong in touch football, netball, trampoline/gymnastics and softball.

The Sports Expo, to be held on January 31 at the Rockhampton Showgrounds, wasn’t just for women.

It’s for the whole community and will feature special guests such as TV’s Bondi Rescue Lifeguard.




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