Women in Sport is a new series by the Mudgee Guardian where we highlight female figures in sport across the region every week.
With women’s rugby union picking up speed across the region, Mudgee has discovered a woman who was made to play the game.
She only first picked up a footy in 2017, and Helen Blackmore already is arguably one of the most valuable players for the Mudgee Wombats.
Her union career began not that long ago alongside fellow Wombat, Rita Palm when they both decided to give the sport a try.
Blackmore collected a number of awards at the Wombats’ club presentation night including best back, best and fairest, top point scorer and shared Wombats’ woman of the year with Palm.
“With so many great girls in the team, the awards could have gone to anyone but I was very excited and honoured to receive them,” Blackmore told the Mudgee Guardian last year.
During her first year, Blackmore was juggling rugby union and league tag, but couldn’t choose between the two.
“After playing my first season of contact rugby I realised the passion I had for the game,” she said.
“12 months ago I would never have imagined I’d be the player I am today.”
2019 will hold an adventure all athletes dream of - to play overseas.
Blackmore was named in the Central West Rugby Union squad that will tour New Zealand, as well as work alongside the Canterbury Crusaders.
“I couldn’t believe it at first, I was so excited,” she said.
“I didn’t think it would be possible especially travelling overseas to play.”
“I know the competition is going to be tough but I feel this experience will only make me grow as a player.
“Hopefully I will bring back some more skills to take into the country championships in June.”