I am a past pupil of Mount Alvernia College and recently viewed an update on the Mount Alvernia Facebook page regarding the Touch Football team.
I joined the Touch team in Year 9 after a very unsuccessful season of Soccer in Year 8. I don't think we scored a goal all season and found it pretty boring, to be honest. So I changed to Touch Football and have now been playing for 22 years. I doubt you'll remember me (I was a whippet of a thing back then!). I thought I'd write to you to let you know that, if I hadn't started playing all those years ago, I certainly wouldn't be where I am today.
I remember Wednesday afternoons at the after-school comp in Shaw Road, with Denis driving us there in the minibus. I remember the early morning training sessions before school, often in the cold when we had to put on a jumper. Hilariously I now play in sleet, snow, a metre and a half of mud, and lashing rain these days. And I love it! If you hadn't taught me the fundamentals all those years ago, I wouldn't have achieved any of the above. Whenever I'm speaking/coaching in regards to Touch, I always remember my Mt A days with great fondness. I was never the fastest, the tallest, or the strongest. But I became game smart, which helped me so much.
I moved to Ireland in 2007 and have been living here ever since. I played socially in Brisbane all throughout university, three times a week, and then when I moved here I started playing locally. I received my first cap for Ireland in 2008, and am now the most capped Irish female player with 61 caps.
I’ve played all over Europe, socially and competitively representing Ireland and my club, Sandymount Touch. A few of the international level tournaments I've played:
• 2008 European Championships - Paris, Mixed Open
• 2009 Home Nations - Glasgow, Mixed Open
• 2010 European Championships - Bristol, Mixed Open (European Champions)
• 2011 World Cup - Edinburgh, Mixed Open
• 2012 European Championships - Italy, Mixed Open (Coach/player)
• 2013 Home Nations - Dublin, Mixed Open (Coach/player)
• 2014 European Championships - Swansea, Senior Mixed (European MVP Female SMX)
• 2016 European Championship - Jersey, Senior Mixed (Flag bearer)
• 2017 Permit - Edinburgh, Senior Mixed
• 2017 Junior European Championships - Dublin, Coach U15s Mixed
• 2018 European Championships - Nottingham, Senior Mixed (Manager – European Champions)
I've had to take a step back recently as I had my first baby (Cora, seven months) so I missed playing in the World Cup this year (however, my husband also plays and was out there competing). I look forward to returning to Touch as soon as I can.
So thank you very much, Mr Fisher, for teaching me the fundamentals. I'm very fortunate that Touch has been such an important part of my life, and it would never have happened if I hadn't been introduced to it by you.
Claire Camilleri, Class of 2000