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1 July, 2022

Jace makes history books

Fourteen-year-old Jace Baker will go down in history, as being the first student from Gilgandra High School to make the under 15s Goanna’s rugby league team.

By Emily Middleton

The team made up of students from across Queensland, NSW, and the ACT, will compete in Redcliffe (Queensland) over this weekend.

“I am pretty excited,” said Jace.

“I wasn’t too nervous when I tried out, I just played the game as best as I could.”

The news came late to successful applicants, so the selection was a complete surprise to Jace.

“They told us we would find out in a week after the trials. But it had been a few weeks and I hadn’t heard anything, so I assumed I didn’t make it.”

Jace hasn’t travelled to Redcliffe before, and is looking forward to meeting his teammates in person and getting on the field.

“I’m excited to make new friends and just play,” said Jace.

“I play five eighth, half back, just the backs really. I’m looking forward to it.”

Jace tried out at the NSW CHS Schoolboys under 15s championships in Wollongong last month, and from there he has made the Indigenous team. His mother, Kimm Naden, is beyond proud.

“I am very proud, and feel very privileged for the opportunity that he has been selected from such a large group of students,” said Ms Naden.

“This is a proud moment for the town as well coming from such a small community.

“This is the first time two students from Gilgandra High School will be representing on the big field. I’m just very proud and we’re very honored.”

Jace will go head-to-head with schoolmate Kapene Karaitiana, who will be playing in the NSW Combined High School under 15s team. The games will be live streamed from Queensland.

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