It didn’t take long for Chloe Dalton to fall in love with Rugby Sevens and the Australian Women’s Sevens star hopes she can be a role model for the next generation as well.
Dalton’s knew little about women’s Rugby growing up but the former WNBL player didn’t take long to find her way in a new sport.
“I was playing basketball for the last 10 years and needed something a little bit different to mix it up,” she said.
“I’ve got a younger brother and older brother and they’d been playing rugby for years but I never thought girls playing rugby was a thing.
“I ended up going along to sessions to Warringah Rats and picked it up.”
It wasn’t an easy decision to switch but once she had a taste of Sevens, she knew it would not just be a fleeting experiment.
“It was quite a big choice,” she said.
“I think I was just planning on taking a bit of a break from basketball but I was literally playing Sevens and it was like this is the game for me.”
Dalton is on track to feature in the Women’s Sevens team in Atlanta in April, after breaking her arm in the opening World Series tournament in Dubai and watching on as the women enthralled home fans in three Sydney Sevens exhibition matches.
“I’ve come a long way since the injury happened and I’ve just been working really hard while the girls have been away,” she said.
“I’m in a good headspace and I can't’ wait to get back out there.”
Dalton said the added exposure had really hit home in Sydney.
“I think it was really cool playing at Sydney Sevens and people were coming up and congratulating us.
“People often are quite surprised girls are actually great and you can play at a high standard.
“It’s just something that people haven’t necessarily seen it before so it’s not that they have a so increasing the exposure and showing them the high level we play at is great.”
Women’s Sevens is one part of a larger tapestry of women’s sports garnering more attention in recent times and Dalton says it’s a movement she’s proud to be a part of.
“I think women’s sport in general over the last few years, the growth and professionalism across sports has been amazing,” she said.
“Women are performing on the world stage and achieving big things so I’m stoked to be a part of that.
“We hope that as Sevens players we can help to contribute.”
Ultimately, though, Dalton wants the next generation of girls growing up to know that women’s Rugby is most definitely an option worth considering.
“I’d really like to be a role model to young girls and show Rugby as a really good option to play and to represent your country,” she said.
“For young girls to play Sevens I don't think that's been something that’s really been an option in the past.
“So to have an opportunity to inspire young girls is pretty amazing.”