Pelite inspired by Steelers

Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Sydney will host the World Rugby Wheelchair Championships and women’s Sevens star Evania Pelite will be on hand to cheer on Australia's Steelers.

The Aussie wheelchair rugby side scored gold at the Rio Paralympics, just weeks after the Aussie women took out their historic gold, and will come into the champs as one of the firm favourites.

Wheelchair rugby is a notoriously tough sport, with players not afraid to go full throttle, and Pelite said the women could certainly take a leaf out of the Steelers’ book in their physicality

“I reckon if we could play with a little bit less fear like they do, we'd probably go better,” she said.

Pelite, who is an ambassador for the tournament, watched the Steelers’ Rio campaign and said she had great admiration for the athletes involved.

“I saw a little bit of their matches in Rio, I didn't watch their Rio gold medal match but they won that one,” she said.

“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 world championships draw earlier this year, meeting players including captain Ryley Batt, and said she was really inspired by their journeys.

‘Listening to their stories and how hard it was for them to accept it at first, but then being to 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.”

The 2018 World Wheelchair Rugby Championships will run from August 5-10 in Sydney. More info here.