Women’s gridiron team set for grand final

Liz Patu stares down her opponent. Image: Tony Scott

Griffith’s female gridiron team face rivals Bayside Ravens in the Gridiron Queensland competition grand final this weekend at Redcliffe’s Dolphin Stadium.

Griffith University Thunder are already minor premiers of the Women’s Gridiron Queensland League and will compete against the Ravens team for the third year in a row, vying for the coveted Sunbowl trophy on Saturday.

Image: Tony Scott

Head Coach and quarterback Amanda Ewers said it had been a year unlike any other.

“The whole team bought into the goal we are looking to achieve and have put every effort in to support one another to get where we are,” Ewers said.

“I can’t wait to play our hearts out in the 2019 Sunbowl.”

Ewers labels gridiron as the “ultimate team sport” and loves that there is a position for almost everybody — including those who are not a fan of catching.

Griffith University Thunder quarterback Amanda Ewers. Image: Tony Scott

“We have what we call ‘skilled positions’ players who are quick, can catch and make plays, then there are the lineman who are strong, they never see the ball and they work hard to make sure the quarterback isn’t hit and our running backs can make big plays,” she said.

“Our women’s team has people from a number of different backgrounds including students and professionals like nurses, project managers and teachers, as well as a number of mums.”

While this weekend’s grand final is the immediate focus for the team, Griffith University Gridiron President and Club Coaching Director Kelvin Howsan is part of the Australian Women’s coaching staff for the next World Championships, to be held in Finland in 2021, and he is looking to the future.

“The ladies’ team has really hit their straps this season and I am super proud of them,” Howsan said.

“I’m coaching up both the Colts and the women’s sides to help them improve their chances for selection in the Australian squad for their respective World Championships.”

Gridiron is one of the many sports clubs on offer at Griffith, with options for women’s and men’s recreational or regular social competitions. Clubs are open to everyone, not just Griffith students.

A flag gridiron (non-contact) competition will also be run by the club in 2020 as a mixed teams event.

Other sports on offer at Griffith include AFL, cricket, baseball, basketball, soccer, taekwondo, touch football, hockey, netball, futsal and more.