Sydney Uni's very own 'Winx' takes the Uni 7s spotlight

Uni 7s
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

The Spring Racing carnival mightn't be the only place to see Winx in the coming months.

In fact, if you caught any of Sydney Uni’s debut Uni 7s tournament last weekend, you would have seen the club's very own 'Winx', in teen star Jakiya Whitfeld.

Whitfeld, 17, had a breakout performance in Hobart and based on her efforts, it was no surprise to hear the nickname her teammates had given her. 

The speedster finished with six tries in as many games in her opening tournament, including a hat-trick in the side's 32-0 win over Bond Uni.

Whitfeld played down her star turn after the tournament, passing on the credit to her teammates.

“I think it was probably because of my speed (that I got the nickname) - the girls like to give it to me to let me score the tries but it’s all team effort,” she said.


Though she’s often scoring, it’s more than just natural talent that Whitfeld possesses.

The dedicated teenager puts in hours of travel each week just to be a part of the team, travelling from Bathurst to Sydney to train each week.

“(I drive) from Bathurst, it’s 3 1/2 hours from training, so my mum drives me down once or twice a week to training, so it’s a big effort from Mum.”

Whitfeld was already a star in her local area before this year and has been in and around the youth Sevens scene but last weekend’s tournament showed she could mix it in senior rugby.

At just 17, Whitfeld has a long future ahead of her and she hopes that one day that involves donning the green and gold of the women’s Aussie Sevens.

The youngster hasn’t put a foot wrong so far and she put it down to being fearless.

“Even from Aussie youth (Sevens), it's a major step up, coming and versing all the big girls and the girls on the World Series circuit from a lot of different countries,” she said.

“I think you've just got to give it your all, don't be scared because, otherwise they'll see that.  

“Just take that step up and give it to them."

Sydney Uni surpassed expectations in their debut tournament, finishing fourth overall and springing some upsets along the way in the series opener in Hobart.

“I think we came in here not really knowing what was going to happen,” Whitfeld said.

“I think we really gave it to some of the teams and definitely showed girls what Sydney Uni is made of.

“I think we just work from here and get better and go back hard, train and hopefully get that medal next time.”

The second Aon Uni 7s series tournament is in Canberra on September 8 and 9.