Name: Amanda Singh
Nickname: I sometimes get Singbo
Position: Primarily Openside Flanker
Current Club: Tuggeranong Vikings
Occupation: Freelance Systems Analyst and Mother
The Hard Questions:
How long have you been playing rugby?
On and off for 14 years. Mostly off, though: I’ve played 3 full seasons and two half seasons. Lots of injuries and two kids.
How/Why did you start playing rugby?
My Dad loves League and Union so I grew up always wanting to play – he never let me, though!! I played a season of League, including a game against Great Britain, when I was 17, but the comp was not so competitive, so I switched to Union. I loved it instantly and never looked back.
What do you like most about rugby?
My coach will tell you I love the physicality, but I really love the contest. I love that a rugby game is a set of patterns decided by a coach and executed by the players. I love that each player has their role – sometimes very nuanced – in those patterns.
How do you prepare for the big games?
This is changing a little. I formerly listened to pump up music for hours beforehand, but now I find I perform better when I am relaxed and pump myself up just before warmup. This fits with the player I want to be: confident, composed, powerful and dominant.
What are the biggest obstacles facing women in today’s game?
The biggest problem is lack of quality competition at every level. We struggle for games at club level, our provincial rep program is very limited and there are even fewer games at international level. Australia is competitive now, but I fear that in the long term, we’ll be left behind, particularly with Sevens. Other nations take Sevens very seriously now it’s been included in the Olympic program for 2016.
Where would you like to see Women’s rugby in 10 years time?
I’d love to see us with a strong identity of our own, something we have driven and created and that all Aussies can perceive value in. I think this is the best way to improve our lot in life: for us to actually present cultural value that people appreciate.
On one hand, this is difficult: we play a rough sport that isn’t pretty.
But on the other hand, female ruggers can be at once beautiful, graceful, tenacious, powerful, uncompromising, creative and skilful. These are values any society could appreciate in it’s feminine population.
I’d love to see parochial communities behind their provincial teams with shouts of “our women are better than yours!” . Tribalism.
If we can convince the society of our cultural value, it follows that we can provide commercial value, along with the sponsorships and competition funding that we so badly need.
Maybe we should get a female players’ association going.
What is your best sporting memory?
Beating Sydney for the first time in who-know-how-long with the ACT girls in the curtain-raiser to the Brumbies v Hurricanes game last year. Magnificent atmosphere, great result.
What is your worst sporting memory?
Rupturing my ACL at the 2009 Nationals.
What is your ultimate ambition in sport?
I’d love to represent my country.
The Fun Questions:
Who is your sporting idol?
Rugby-wise, Sharni Williams is my hero (Australian Player of the Year, 2010, and ACT teammate).
Maggie Alphonsi and Phaidra Knight are the benchmark flankers and I still love George Smith, too.
What is your favourite sporting venue?
What is your favourite hobby away from sport?
Reading and studying. Currently reading A Journey to the Interior of the Earth. Have also embarked on a project to move like Sportacus every day for three years which is ultra-fun!
Who would you most like to be stranded on a deserted island with?
What song did you last play on your iPod?
It was actually a video: Green and Gold Rugby’s Wallabies 2010 Mashup. The song is Tenderoni.
What is the one item you could not live without?
My gym rings.
What is your favourite TV show?
I don’t really watch much telly apart from the rugby. I love Wire in the Blood with Robson Green and my all-time fave is Police Rescue.