Galas All Star call-up
BUNDABERG teenager Natalie Gala will represent her region and her people when she takes to the field with the Australian indigenous women's All Stars next month.
The fleet-footed halfback will lend her skill to the team in the curtain-raiser to the showpiece NRL All Stars and Indigenous All Stars clash.
It is her second appearance with the indigenous women's all stars team after serving with the team in its first exhibition match last year.
Gala said her selection in the team for a second consecutive year was a shock.
"I was surprised to get the call-up last year, let alone be asked again," she said.
"It's all happened so quickly, in two years really, and I feel very proud and lucky."
Gala has taken the rugby league world by storm at only 19 years of age and with limited club competition experience.
She started playing competitive rugby league two years ago when the women's division of the Bundaberg Rugby League competition began.
The game has been a lifelong passion, however, played mostly in the backyard of Gala's Bundaberg home and nearby parklands with her brothers and cousins.
Gala took the inaugural Bundaberg Women's Rugby League season by storm as a 17-year-old, earning a player of the year award for Across The Waves.
Last year she was named representative women's player of the year for her efforts with the Bundaberg, Central Queensland and Queensland representative teams.
As part of her duties with the Queensland team, she played the curtain-raiser to the State Of Origin men's match.
Gala said it was with pride that she would play with the indigenous women's team at the upcoming All Stars match.
"This game is all about representing your people and indigenous pride and providing a role model for indigenous kids," she said.
Gala hoped she had begun what would become a long and enjoyable rugby league career.
"I've always loved the game but I suppose it was just that I'd never had the opportunity to play it before," she said.
The indigenous women's side will play the curtain-raiser of the NRL All Stars match at Skilled Park on February 4.