Park Ridge State High School student Dekota Baron was successfully chosen to represent the 13-15’s Queensland AFL team this year.
The 14-year-old had previously been selected to play for the Met-West AFL team from the 27th–30th May, where she competed in four games over a four-day tournament.
Dekota was one of 22 players chosen for the Queensland State AFL team out of over 1000 other athletes.
She had played AFL since she was young after being introduced to the sport by her Nan, who was a very strong supporter of AFL.
“My Nan signed me up, and from there I have loved it ever since,” she said.
Dekota’s aspirations for the future included making it onto an AFL Women’s team.
“I hope to play for the Brisbane Lions or the Gold Coast Suns – it’s been one of my dreams for a while now,” she said.
Dekota would also like to compete at the Olympics for athletics, particularly in discus and shot-put which were her strongest events.
“I have a very big passion for athletics as well,” she said.
Dekota spent up to 5 days a week training for football and athletics.
On Mondays she practiced skills and game sense. She attended athletics training on Tuesdays and club training on Wednesdays and Fridays.
“I’m definitely really busy, I have training a lot through the week” she said.
Dekota’s main support system included her parents, grandparents, friends and her teachers, who helped her get to where she is now.
“I have a lot of friends around me that support me a lot,” she said.
“They don’t stop going on about all the achievements I’ve done.
“My parents and my grandparents are always there for me, and they drive me everywhere.”
Unfortunately, the national competition was cancelled due to Covid-19 precautions.
“We only got named for the team, we don’t get to play anywhere,” she said.
Dekota hoped to be selected for the QLD team again next year.
Dakota’s biggest sporting achievements include:
- 2019 – 12-year-old girls National Champion for Discus
- 2020 – Grand Final Champion Team for AFL
- 2020 – “Best and Fairest” in the region for AFL
- 2021 – Represented Met-West for AFL
- 2021 – Selected for the QLD team for AFL