TRY FACTOR: With her   pace Zara Johnson-Gamia finds space to cross the line for the Brothers.
TRY FACTOR: With her pace Zara Johnson-Gamia finds space to cross the line for the Brothers. Brian Cassidy

Bundy athlete heading to talent camp

BUNDABERG'S Zara Johnson-Gamia has been selected to participate in a rugby sevens talent camp.

Currently playing for Past Brothers Women, Johnson-Gamia will be crossing codes to play sevens.

Playing 12 games so far this season in fullback positions, Johnson-Gamia has scored 28 points.

Johnson-Gamia said she was speechless when she got the call about being selected.

"Yeah it means a lot,” she said.

Over 100 First Nations sporting stars have been selected to attend a national talent camp in Sydney this month.

Thousands of First Nations people, aged 14-25, travelled from far and wide to put their best foot forward and prove they've got what it takes to play on the world stage.

The "#DreamBigTime” tour started in late March in Bathurst and travelled to some of the most remote parts of Australia in the search of the next faces of the national rugby sevens teams.

In a few weeks, 46 females and 87 males will participate in the three-day talent camp in Sydney where their talents will be assessed by a panel of coaches and experts.

Following the camp, two First Nations sevens squads of 30 will be selected to compete around the country, with the chance of being selected for the 2020 Olympics.

Johnson-Gamia wasn't the only Wide Bay player to be noticed, Hervey Bay's Scott Carter-Lowe and Burung Shillingsworth have also been selected to participate in the talent camp.

Former Australian men's sevens assistant coach Jarred Hodges has led the project and said contacting the chosen talent was incredibly rewarding.

"The best part for me was phoning 133 individuals to let them know they made the cut.

"They were so overwhelmed with happiness...some cried, others were speechless, and a few put the phone on loudspeaker so their family could hear the news,” Hodges said.

"It's a lot to take in when you find out you've been given the opportunity to trial for Rugby Australia's First Nations sevens sides.” Hodges said the selection panel included current and former First Nations stars including Glen Ella and Andrew Walker.

Selections will be made, not just on physical fitness and football skills, but also players' ability to work as a team and make quick decisions under pressure.

Hodges said squads would be announced after the camp and the teams would continue to grow and change as Rugby Australia heads over to Western Australia over the next few months to find more First Nations talent.



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