Sports Captain Beth Sanderson developed a love of sport from a young age and has played basketball, water polo, futsal and football for the school in recent years. Her passion for football has led to her selection in NSW representative teams and she is also in the elite women’s program of Girls Football Development Australia. Anthony Segaert asked Beth about her journey in representative football and how she juggles all her commitments.
How did you first discover a love of sport?
I was first introduced to sport at a very young age, while I was living in a small town in Victoria. I grew up in an environment where everyone around me was playing a sport. Everyone would come out to support all the various teams, whether it be competitive or just for some fun. I am passionate about sport because of these experiences and I believe it has helped shape the person I am today.
I love going out and watching other teams play and seeing the excitement and joy on players’ faces when they are surrounded by others doing something they love or when they achieve that one goal they have set themselves.
How did you progress to becoming one of the state’s best junior football players?
When I started at St Andrew’s in Year 5, I was involved in a variety of sporting teams (netball, Oz-Tag and tee-ball). At the age of 10, I started playing soccer for my local soccer club (2011-2012) and I was then scouted to represent Sydney Olympic FC in the Football NSW State League Women’s competition from 2013 – 2016, where I played in the age groups of U12s, U13s and U15s. I continued with Sydney Olympic FC when the women’s program was promoted into the National Premier League 2 NSW Women’s competition. In early 2016, I became a member at the elite women’s program for Girls Football Development Australia (GFDA). In late 2016, I was scouted to play for the Apia Leichhardt Tigers FC Under-17 team in the Football NSW State League Women’s competition. During that season with the club, I made my debut for the Reserve Grade and First Grade teams. At the end of the 2017 soccer season, our team was promoted into the National Premier League 2 NSW Women’s competition. While competing in these representative teams, I also played school football and in Year 8 (2014) was selected into the First XI Girls Football team. I have also been a member of the school’s open girls’ basketball team, the first girls water polo team and the senior girls’ futsal team. With all these sporting commitments, I see myself training or playing eight times a week.
Now that you’re in Year 12, how do you manage your sport, leadership and co-curricular activities with your studies? And where have you found support?
I have had to decrease my load of co-curricular activities this year to be able to have a well-balanced and healthy year. I have looked to friends, my Head of House, close members of staff and coaches numerous times, especially throughout Years 11 and 12. They’ve assisted me with my academic studies and personal matters and have encouraged me to keep a positive and open mind to life. Without them I wouldn’t be able to reach my goals.
Why did you and your parents choose to come to St Andrew’s?
As relative newcomers to Sydney, my parents explored many schools for my brother and I before discovering St Andrew’s. They were impressed by the school’s intimate size, which underpins a strong and effective pastoral care focus, and the inclusiveness extending to students of diverse ability and cultural backgrounds. The extensive arts and co-curricular program provided us with wonderful opportunities for holistic education and personal growth. My brother and I have greatly benefited from it.
What future career aspirations do you have?
After finishing the HSC, I’d like to study sports medicine or join the NSW Police Force. Meanwhile I wish to continue with my football, trying to progress into the National Premier League NSW women’s program, where I would have the opportunity to play at the second highest level for my age. My goal is to one day be selected into a Westfield W-League team. I know this goal is reachable with persistence and dedication.