Hard Work Nevers Stops

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A Sydney-based corporal has her sights set on next year’s Olympic Games in Rio after being selected to represent Australia in the Rugby Sevens. Cpl Mollie Gray, a clerk at Victoria Barracks in Sydney, says she started training with the sevens at the Sydney Institute of Sport in Narrabeen on New Year’s Day. “The training is intense,” she says. “It consists of a field session and gym session every day and we are always surprised with extras at the end of the day – lots of conditioning, lots of skills and ball work. “I’m very fortunate that Army has released me as an elite athlete to train full-time with the sevens.” Cpl Gray says as the Olympics are fast approaching there are a lot of people who have their heart set on attending. “The team, coaches, support staff and I all have our eyes on the prize and the Army is right there with me every step of the way,” she says. Cpl Gray took up rugby in her second year in the Army. She says she stumbled upon it with a friend one day and thought she would give it a try. “I came from a swimming background and had tried rugby in high school and thought, ‘no way, this is not for me’. But I decided to give it one more crack,” she says. “Turns out I was pretty good at it and have played for Army and ASRU for seven years now.” Despite her new appointment, Cpl Gray remains steadfastly loyal to her Army rugby mates. “I don’t think I will ever stop playing for ASRU,” she says. “It’s given me so many opportunities over the years and as long as I am in the ADF, ASRU will be my core team. Without them I don't think I would have ever had the chance to play where I have played and the opportunity to be where I am now.” Cpl Gray says the ASRU players are lucky to have “Joey D” as their coach. “If I can give any advice to these girls it’s listen to her, take her advice, enjoy the opportunities and enjoy every moment that ASRU has to offer,” she says. One highlight of Cpl Gray’s rugby career was the Women’s Rugby World Cup for 15s in France last year. “That was the first time I represented my country in sport and it was an amazing feeling,” she said. “So being picked for the Aussie sevens team is indescribable. “I’m so fortunate to have this opportunity to play sport professionally and for my country again.” Cpl Gray says she is looking forward to making her debut for the Aussie team in the World Series. “I’m the newest player to the team and there’s still a lot of work ahead of me and I’m still wrapping my head around all the policies and skill side of things,” she says. “The hard work never stops but I’m a very determined person. I will keep working until I get it right and keep working even harder from there. I can’t wait to make my mark on the world stage again.” Another ADF member, Air Force Officer Cadet Rachel Crothers, has also been selected for the sevens team. Cpl Gray says it is one thing to share these types of experiences with your teammates, but another to share them with other service members. “I went to the World Cup with two of my Army teammates and another from the Air Force,” she says. “It was such an honour to share that with them and now I get to share my sevens adventure with Rach.” Cpl Gray wants to go as far as she can with the sport. “I’m 25 now and confident that my body can hold out for a lot longer,” she says. “Having knee surgery last year has given me a hunger to succeed in this sport and I have worked extremely hard to get my body reconditioned for rugby. I’ve focused a lot on my strength and power because they are my main assets in this game.” The Olympics is the pinnacle for her team. “We hold the number two ranking in the world behind New Zealand but that won’t be for long,” she says. “With a few weeks and some hard work, our team will take that number one spot in no time. “I’m fortunate enough to be surrounded by some of the greatest sevens players in the world.” Cpl Gray says coming from a 15s background she is in the best position to learn as much as possible from the other players and have a positive impact on the team. "I’m excited to be a part of this Olympic journey with my teammates and show the world what we are made of,” she says.

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