LOCAL Queanbeyan school teacher Carla Fahey has recently returned from a successful sporting trip to New Zealand.
Fahey represented Australia at the Tag Football World Cup (Oztag in Australia) where the Aussies beat arch-rivals New Zealand 11-4 to claim the cup.
Despite a lop-sided score line, Fahey said the hosts were no easy beats.
“The score line doesn’t reflect the competition at all. New Zealand never gave up. They played hard and kept on coming. I’ve never been so physically exhausted,” she said.
Fahey has represented Australia on two previous occasions; however this was her first world cup.
“Playing in a world cup was a completely different level,” she said. “There was no mucking around, the men’s teams were doing the haka and the females were doing their version.
“It made me nervous. It was the first time in a long time I’ve actually been nervous.”
The drama at the Tag World Cup wasn’t just confined to the football field.
Extreme weather warnings played havoc with the first day of the tournament as a freak tornado ripped through the event’s host city Auckland.
“We were ushered under North Harbour stadium and told there was a tornado warning. It was scary and games were shifted to the next day,” Fahey said of the experience.
Coincidently, the last time Fahey played tag in New Zealand coincided with the deadly Christchurch Earthquake in 2011.
But despite the wild weather, Fahey said her time in New Zealand was very valuable.
“It was more than just sport, it was the whole experience,” she said. “There was traditional dancing and traditional food. It was just an amazing.”
Queanbeyan may also be a surprise beneficiary of Fahey’s trip to New Zealand courtesy of an ‘I love Queanbeyan’ t-shirt.
“I took the shirt to New Zealand and wore it in between games and had a lot of people asking about it,” Fahey said. “I explained where it was and a lot of people were interested. Some of the girls wanted to have shirts made up for their own city but I told them it was a Queanbeyan thing.
The next Australian team will not be selected until after Christmas, which means for the moment that it’s back to normality for Fahey.
“For now I’m getting back into teaching and we’ll see what next year brings,” Fahey said.