Super W: Mother and daughter making history for RugbyWA

Super W
by Emma Greenwood

When Sera Ah-Sam started playing rugby for Wanneroo with her sister and cousin as a 22-year-old, she could not have imagined a time when she would run out in a national women's competition with her own daughter.

They might not yet have won a game this Super W season but RugbyWA are chalking up victories off the field that will ensure the long-term strength of women's rugby.

One of them is the competition's first second-generation player in Frieda Ah-Sam, who not only continues her mother's legacy but packs down alongside her in the RugbyWA front row.

"It is amazing. It's a great opportunity to be able to play with your daughter," Sera, 36, said.

"We've come a long way, we've taken the challenge and we're very tight for this."

A mother of five, Sera has had a long and successful career with Wanneroo, where her three oldest children, including Freida, have also played.

"I'd just had my second child and I used to come off the field, breast feed and go back on," Sera said.

"My sister and our cousin played and they said to come and check it out.

"From then on, (I was hooked), we had a great team - we lost every game but we were so good together and it just grew and grew. Us old heads keep the team together."

Frieda, the oldest child, started playing at 14, tired of watching younger brothers Myran and Nortorious run around.

"She was 14 turning 15, she came to me and asked if she could come to training," Sera said.

"She used to watch her brothers all the time and she was sick of watching them, so she came down to training and she was actually pretty good."

Now 17, Frieda is so good she joined her mother in Sebastian Delport's RugbyWA squad last year and made her Super W debut at prop in the opening round against the Brumbies before packing down beside her mother, who shifted into the unfamiliar position of hooker for their first game together against the Reds.

The enormity of that occasion hit at home after training following the team announcement.

"Having your child there, that's amazing. It makes me teary sometimes as well," Sera said.

"At home after we were named to play our first game together, I said: 'I've got you' and she said: 'I've got you too mum'."

Delport said having a second-generation player was a real tick for the RugbyWA women's program.

"It's a really fantastic advert for not only the wider club game but Super W and what we want it to be in the wider women's rugby landscape and we're really excited to see them playing together," Delport said.

"They almost highlight that generational change we're talking about. The fact that it's an immediate family member of second generation continues that process of development.

"I think the whole of their club community and the whole of Rugby WA community will be delighted to see that we've got girls following in their mothers' footsteps to take over the mantle of where this competition is going to be in 10 years' time."

Deport believes Frieda has the potential to become a PONI (Players of National Interest) representative in the near future.

It's an opportunity that wasn't open to her mother but one she supports for a new generation of West Australian women.

"There are great opportunities now for the young generation," Sera said.

"I'm all for the young generation, our club has got a lot of young girls and we're all about developing them and helping them grow and letting them enjoy the sport and pushing them to their limits.

"If you really want to be something, go for it. I ain't going nowhere but I just love playing rugby."

RugbyWA play their final match of the Super W season against the Waratahs at Sydney University on Saturday, March 14, kicking off at 3:25pm and streamed LIVE on RUGBY.com.au and Kayo.