Menopause. It’s the bittersweet conclusion to what was 40 odd years of monthly bleeding, and…
You wouldn’t exactly be hard-pressed to find a footy-mad family in this town. But a family with two daughters playing for the Brumbies in the inaugural Super W Series? Well, that’s something special.
It comes as little surprise that Paremo Marsh and Emerena Aviga come from a family where football is practically a way of life.
“Both our parents are football mad” says Emerena.
“Paremo is 10 years younger than me. We tried to get her into other sports. We wanted her to be a swimmer and we tried everything we could, but because we are such a football family with Rugby Union and League, it was in her blood.”
Emerena honed her skills over time, but her speed has come naturally, earning her the nickname ‘Skeda’.
“My parents were watching a documentary on Wilma Rudolph who was a sprinter who had polio when she was young, and they thought it was very inspirational. Skeda was her nickname. I was very quick as a baby, so it started as a family nickname. Since most people can’t pronounce my real name, Skeda has become my name!”
Paremo was inspired by her two older sisters and her mother.
“They’ve done really well in their rugby careers, and I’ve always trained hard to get to a similar level.”
“Skeda started playing when she was 13, our dad was a Rugby League men’s coach, and Rugby Union women’s coach, and has always been very supportive of women playing the sport.”
Both sisters had harbored a dream of playing together, but never thought it would happen—until now. Having the opportunity to play together for the Brumbies in the Super W Series is an opportunity both women are endlessly grateful for.
“For me,” explains Skeda, “it’s been awesome, considering I’ve been playing for nearly 22 years. To be playing in this towards the end of my football career, and seeing what is in the future for young girls…it’s been very exciting. I’ve been to internationals and in the Wallaroos squad, and I’ve never received this much support.”
Paremo too has relished the experience.
“Previously I’d played nationals for the Brumbies, and the whole Super W League feels like a massive step up. Brumbies have been really supportive, even David Pocock was rushing our water! It’s awesome to see Women’s Rugby Union be embraced in this way.”
Like many female athletes, both sisters train and play Rugby in addition to holding down day jobs—Paremo works in medical administration, while Skeda works as a Childcare Educator when she’s not caring for her son.
“It’s tricky” says Skeda. “Especially being full time, then training and going home to a two year old. I have a very supportive husband, and his family helps out a lot. So does Paremo.”
Despite the challenges this brings, both Paremo and Skeda remain passionate about their sport.
“From my perspective I’m really happy that I get opportunities now, as I know that in the past women didn’t,” says Paremo. “I have a niece who is coming up to play Rugby soon, and she has Rugby in her blood, so I’m glad there will be opportunities for girls like her who are coming up into the women’s league.”
This Saturday 7 April, the Brumbies Women will take on the Western Force at GIO Stadium, and Paremo can hardly wait.
“I just want to get out there and play. With the progress we’ve made since our first game, I think we’re going to smash it out of the park” she says.
“It’s going to be a physical battle” predicts Skeda. “WA is quite physical, and so are we. Everyone is going to be putting their bodies on the line this week.”
Not only does the game itself promise to be exciting, but it also happens to be the “Celebrating Women in Rugby” round, with the Brumbies Women kicking off at 5pm, and the Plus500 Brumbies up against the Reds at 7:45pm.
What: Brumbies Women v Western Force – Super W Fixture, followed by the Plus500 Brumbies v Reds
Where: GIO Stadium
When: From 5.00pm, Saturday 7 April
Tickets: If you arrive early to the gates before 5.30pm, you can pay just $5 at the gate. Alternatively, there is a Family Super Pass Ticket which allows you to see three games for the price of two. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit ticketek.com.au/