Aussie sport pioneer dead at 29

 

There wasn't a sport Jacinda Barclay couldn't play.

She featured in five World Cups for the Australian women's baseball team, lined up for the GWS Giants in AFLW - and even won a championship playing quarterback in America's Legends Football League.

Aussie sport lost one of its most unique talents this week when Barclay - described ahead of her first game with the Giants in 2017 as "the Sonny Bill Williams of women's sport" died. She was 29

Tributes have begun flowing on social media from devastated former teammates, who remembered the West Australian product as the perfect person to go into battle with in the sporting arena.

"The news is devastating and our hearts are breaking," wrote Steph Mur, who played with Barclay at the Chicago Bliss.

"Jacinda lived a life that most people could only imagine. She was an elite multi-sport athlete constantly shredding boundaries around the world. She was every coach and players' dream- a fearless leader full of positivity, vast knowledge, eagerness to grow and dedication to every team member. More importantly, she was an all-round badass person.
"I feel honoured to have played alongside you and more importantly to have known your beautiful energy and bubbly, comedic personality. Your brightness will never stop shining in our hearts. Rest easy Cinda!"

Jacinda Barclay walks off the field after a win with the Giants earlier this year. (Photo by Jack Thomas/Getty Images)
Jacinda Barclay walks off the field after a win with the Giants earlier this year. (Photo by Jack Thomas/Getty Images)

"Life is short," added Kayla Lee, who also played in the LFL.
"You never really know what someone is going through. This morning I woke up to the devastating news that we had lost one of the most vibrant, positive and spirited souls on this planet.
"Cinda has been one of my closest friends since we met 7 years ago training and playing in the LFL. She was my quarterback and always had my back. We trained hard, laughed hard and sometimes partied hard together.
"She was a naturally talented multi-sport athlete, who was driven, ambitious and a leader that was fighting demons none of us knew about. I am absolutely heartbroken and in complete shock."

Phoebe Monahan, who played with Barclay at the GWS Giants, wrote: "Rest easy Barcs."

Barclay grew up in Perth playing Aussie Rules against boys before turning her eye to the baseball diamond.

A right-armed pitcher, she was playing state baseball at the age of 15 before making the national team at age 17 for the 2008 World Cup in Japan.

She was part of the silver-medal winning outfit in Venezuela in 2010 before also playing in 2012, 2014 and 2016.

Intrigued by American football, Barclay attempted to play in the then-named Lingerie Football League in 2012 but was hampered by visa issues.

So she learned the game in Australia - and learned it fast, leading the NSW Surge to the championship in the sole season of LFL Australia in 2013-14.

After being named the best offensive player in the league she eventually made it to the States a couple of years later and also won a title there in her first season.

Barclay (back right) recently shared this image of her and her LFL teammates to Instagram.
Barclay (back right) recently shared this image of her and her LFL teammates to Instagram.

The Giants came calling ahead of the inaugural AFLW season in 2017, picking her up in the draft.

She played 23 games with GWS, which is yet to comment on her passing.

 

 

Originally published as Aussie sport pioneer dead at 29

Jacinda Barclay embrace teammate Jessica Dal Pos after beating the Crows in March. (Photo by Matt Turner/AFL Photos via Getty Images)
Jacinda Barclay embrace teammate Jessica Dal Pos after beating the Crows in March. (Photo by Matt Turner/AFL Photos via Getty Images)


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