MOUNT Cotton hockey player Sinead Swartz returned home a national champion after her Queensland team was took out the top spot in the Australian girls indoor hockey championships in Goulburn.
The five-day competition ended in a fight for gold between the Queensland Maroon and New South Wales under 15 teams during a shootout in the final on January 12.
Swartz, who competed in her third national championship this year, said it was the first time Queensland had won the under 15 indoor hockey.
“When we won it was so crazy,” she said.
“It felt like all our hard work had finally paid off.”
Swartz said the team had fought through a dramatic final, with their two-point winning margin in the first half closed by New South Wales in the last seven minutes of play.
“I was so nervous, I was shaking and I felt sick but I just tried to remain calm and not overthink it,” Swartz said.
“We were up two nil in the first half, so we were confident but not cocky.
“Then in the last seven minutes, New South Wales scored twice and we freaked out a little.
“[During the final shootout] all of us girls were standing at the halfway line holding on to each other hoping that it would go to plan but still having faith in our teammates.”
For 14-year-old Swartz, the win brought her one step closer to achieving her dreams of representing Australia as a Hockeyroo.
Days after the championship, Swartz was back on the field preparing for outdoor hockey national trials, set to begin on January 25.
“I’m still training heaps every day,” she said.