Students line up for Women’s World Cup

Tameka Butt is one of three Griffith students who will compete with the Matildas at the Rio Olympics.
Tameka Butt is one of three Griffith students who will compete with the Matildas at the Rio Olympics.

Three Griffith students have been named on the Australian squad for the FIFA Women’s World Cup.

Tameka Butt, Clare Polkinghorne and Elise Kellond-Knight will head into an intense training camp this weekend in the lead up to the showpiece tournament in Canada starting on June 6.

Tameka, studying a Masters of Business/Masters of Marketing, said she had been juggling study and training all year in the hope of making the elite 23-player squad.

“I have been training eight times a week on field and gym sessions and for the last six months I’ve been living at the Australian Institute of Sport doing two sessions a day,” she said.

“We are more than ready to compete as we have had such a large amount of time to prepare.”

The students will take on USA in their first Cup game and will also line up against Sweden and Nigeria for their second and third.

“We have never beaten the USA but we are confident we can pull through,” she said.

“Everyone is really excited and if we can beat the USA why not do it at the World Cup.”

Tameka said while training had been at the forefront of her life, she believed it was very important continue to make time for her studies at Griffith.

“I am hoping my university degrees will help me grow the exposure of women in sport and create a new culture of how the public perceives it,” she said.

Clare Polkinghorne
Clare Polkinghorne
Elise Kellond-Knight
Elise Kellond-Knight


Clare is currently completing a Bachelor of Psychological Science with Honours and Elise is doing a Masters of Pharmacy.

All three students are members of Brisbane Roar, the Australian soccer team Matildas and the Griffith Sports College.

Sports College Manager Duncan Free said it was fantastic to see the Sports College students achieving well in their chosen sport as well as getting the opportunity to represent their country.

He said it was particularly exciting to see the female athletes gaining deserving recognition for their hard work.

“Just under 50 per cent of Griffith Sports Collegemembers are women and there are a larger number of women than males who represent the country,” he said.

“Female athletes definitely deserve to get more recognition than what they do.”