Sydney 2018: Olympian Evania Pelite named ambassadorWomen’s rugby sevens champion inspired by wheelchair rugby Worlds 03 Jul 2018
The Australian wheelchair rugby team will have Olympic champion and women’s rugby sevens star Evania Pelite cheering them on from home sidelines during August’s World Championship in Sydney.
Pelite was part of the Australian sevens team that won Rio 2016 Olympic gold and is now part of the GIO 2018 International Wheelchair Rugby Federation (IWRF) Wheelchair Rugby World Championship from 5-10 August as an event ambassador.
The 22-year-old said she could learn some tips about physicality from her home wheelchair rugby team, also known as the Steelers.
“I reckon if we could play with a little bit less fear like they do, we'd probably go better,” said Pelite, who scored the game-leading try in the 2016 Olympic final against New Zealand.
“I saw a little bit of their matches in Rio, I didn't watch their Rio gold medal match but they won that one.
“Since then, I’ve watched a few of their games on YouTube and it's actually really quite brutal.”
Pelite was on hand for the 2018 World Championship draw earlier this year, meeting players including captain Ryley Batt.
“Listening to their stories and how hard it was for them to accept it at first, but then being able to have an opportunity to still pursue a career in sport...it's great that rugby has that chance to give to players out there,” Pelite said.
Reigning Paralympic champions Australia will look to defend their world title on home floor.