Steel Determination

Emily takes on the might of The Black Ferns 2018

My job takes me to many different locations. Not only around Sydney and NSW but Australia wide. Obviously, there’s an opportunity to meet a lot of different people, but rarely do you meet someone like Emily Robinson.

On the job for the Waratahs 2011

We crossed paths on a work site at Kemps Creek a few weeks ago. She portrayed herself as an enthusiastic, hard working type who’s keen to get on with the task at hand. But with all that aside, I hadn’t the faintest idea that Emily plays rugby union and greater still, has played for Australia!

Ambition begins at the Narrabeen Tigers!

Originally from Manchester in the UK, Emily moved to Australia with her family when she was just six years old. Of course, being a former “Man U” resident, Emily had a keen interest in soccer much to the delight of her father. But after the Robinson’s took up residency on the northern beaches, Emily was introduced to another game.

Wallaroos in pre-match ceremonies prior to the world cup fixture against Japan in 2019 world cup.

Emily’s passion for the game of rugby began when she was nine years old. She suited up for the Narrabeen Tigers and played in the boys competition until she was 13. Since there was no woman’s competition a frustrated Emily was then forced to quit the game she loved. It was three years later as a sixteen year old that Emily found an opportunity with the Warringah Rats in the competition known as the Jack Scott cup. Then injury hit and Emily had to endure consecutive knee reconstructions over the next two seasons.

It’s a tough game. But a broken nose was never going to stop Emily.

Remaining undeterred despite her injuries, Emily then decided upon what she believed to be, an achievable goal. Which was to make the Wallaroos squad and represent Australia. All of which took a step closer in 2011 when she was picked for the Sydney representative team. In 2014 her dream was almost realized after she was picked for the Australian World Cup squad. Then injury raised it’s ugly head again and Emily had to endure another knee reconstruction.

But despite all the adversity she faced, Emily’s determination stayed hard like the steel she works with and in 2016 she was again selected to play for her country. This was followed by the news that Emily would make her Australian debut against the Black Ferns at Eden Park on October 22nd.

Emily and another debutant in utility back Shontelle Stowers. Shontelle also plays for Warringah.

Most of us would say that Emily had one hell of a dream. But that dream, through hard work became reality with a career spanning twelve years. But the most important thing to remember is, it was Emily who made it all happen. Of course, having a boss that understands your passion is a big help. Emily is employed as a steel rigger with AWI Steel Fabrication. Managing director Paul Mirabito has been very understanding with regards to Emily’s ambition and his flexibility with her hours etc. has been a contributing factor to her success. 

Aspiring players in any sport, often need guidance and inspiration. Sometimes it’s just a few words from someone who has been “there” and done “that”! For Emily, it was a great advantage to have regular contact with great players like Tui Ormsby an Australian fly-half. Another Wallaroo in the shape of Cheryl Soon, who also played half. Chris Ross, who is originally from the United States represented Australia in the 2010 World Cup.

What was once a dream is now reality.

However, with all the success Emily has enjoyed, I find most of the inspiration is in her will and relentless determination. I could quote pages of cliches but the greatest thing to remember when chasing your own dream is “if it gets too hard, you don’t want it bad enough”.  To her credit, Emily never gave up! The agony she went through with three knee reconstructions and the rehabilitation afterwards would have ended the dream for a lot of potential champions. But that’s what separates a champion from the rest. To her credit, Emily never let her determination wane, she never lost focus on what was needed and the rest is history.

The picture says it all.

From a personal perspective I’m proud to have met Emily and grateful that she allowed me to write this article. Her achievements are truly inspirational and I hope in the years to come, that people like her tell their stories. So that anyone chasing a dream can hear it and hopefully be inspired enough ” to give it a crack and have a go”! Because for me, achieving your dream is the track to true happiness.