Aussie Sevens' next gen lock in for 2020

Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Dom Du Toit was watching on in Rio as her Australian Sevens teammates won gold and one look at their emotions made her determined to be a part of that group in 2020.

The 21-year-old and fellow youngster Demi Hayes have both inked new deals to take them through to Tokyo, following some of the team’s biggest stars in committing.

Charlotte Caslick, Vani Pelite, Emilee Cherry and Alicia Quirk are just some of the names that have already locked themselves in for another Olympic campaign.

Du Toit saw firsthand the hard work of her squad mates in 2016, after making her World Series debut that season, and was an injury reserve in Rio, an experience she has held with her since.

“Obviously my long-term goal is being able to compete at the Olympics, so to sign until 2020 that's pretty positive for me to be able to be in contention for Olympic selection,” she said.

“I had no expectation of making that team, to to be able to be a travelling reserve was an incredible experience and definitely gave me insight to what it's like and it’s definitely motivated me, driven me, given me a goal of exactly what I want to do.

Dom du Toit after her Sevens debut in 2016. Photo: Getty Images“To be able to see their emotions and what they achieved, I definitely want to be able to feel that as well.”

Du Toit and Hayes are in some ways the faces of the next generation of Sevens, preparing to take the baton from their more established teammates in the years to come.

Though still only young, Du Toit and Hayes are now firmly established members of the squad and it won’t be long before they are the ones taking the torch.

Du Toit said she’d learned plenty from her teammates and was keen to ensure she could do the same thing.

“I've learned heaps from those (older) girls, being able to play a little bit more on the World Series now, being one of the players that gets to tour regularly, get to play alongside them,” she said.

“They've obviously had that experience, learning from the way they conduct themselves on the field in those pressure situations and that's definitely something that's helped me develop from then to now, being able to learn what to do in those situations and perform under those pressure situations.

“She (Hayes) is in the same boat as me, having learned so much from those girls and being one of the core touring members, being able to get those combinations with those girls and then also be able to become a leader to some of the younger girls ourselves as well so it's very exciting for both of us.”