Tia Baxter is making Eagles history with 50-game milestone
Although Tia always wanted to play rugby growing up, it was never a reality until a school teacher mentioned the Gungahlin Eagles to her 6 years ago.
She joined the Eagles as an enthusiastic 15-year-old, fast forward to this weekend, and she will become the first-ever Eagle to notch up 50 games for our Women’s side.
Tia will run out for her 50th match this Saturday against ADFA at the Nest, coinciding with Heritage Round, and Luke Wild’s 200th club game also. It’s going to be a big day!
It’s a significant milestone for both Tia and the Eagles, to have the longest-serving Women’s player at the Gungahlin Eagles bring up a 50-game milestone.
Tia says that she wants this milestone to become a regular thing for the Eagles, and for more girls to keep playing rugby and get to 50 or 100 themselves.
“I hope this will encourage more girls to try rugby and stay committed to the game so that they can reach milestones too”,
“The Eagles have come a long way from not having a team, to slowly building one up, and now there are a few of us who have been here for a few years – it makes a big difference for new players coming in too.”
Tia’s favourite thing about rugby is the physicality, which is what keeps her motivated to play.
“I love everything about rugby, but mostly the contact. It’s a great release especially on game day.”
We all know that friendships are what make rugby clubs a great place, and when it comes to the women’s team, it’s hard to separate the dynamic duo of Tia and Charlie Foster.
“The women’s team have made this club and playing rugby really enjoyable, but I especially enjoy getting to train and play alongside people like Charlie.”
Tia has big ambitions for the women’s team, primarily growing the number of players and winning trophies.
“I’d love for us to have enough girls to play in both the 10s and 15s comps competitively, and I would love to see our women’s side take out some silverware”,
“We’ve been dominant in our comp for the past few years and we would love to see that translate into a premiership.”
Gungahlin Eagles President Eoghan O’Byrne is tremendously proud of Tia’s achievement and says it’s great for the club and the women’s game more broadly.
“Club’s need more players like Tia. We know that more and more girls want to come and try rugby, and when players show this level of commitment, those new girls have a much clearer pathway to be in the game long-term”,
“We’re so proud to have a player like Tia achieve this at the Eagles. She’s the mother of a young son, and she’s been one of the core players who has stayed the course through lots of change and she’s a real trailblazer in the women’s program”,
“This milestone shows how far the women’s game has come, and hopefully we see more and more of our women bringing up their 50th or 100th game milestones too”,
“This is particularly impressive given that our ladies team plays significantly fewer games per season, and Tia has been mostly injury free throughout the course of her career. Some of the men reach 100+ games in that timeframe because there are more rounds each year and they can play three games in one round”,
“This achievement is right up there in the club’s history for me. Well done Tia, you’re a real Eagles legend.”
Watch Tia run out for her 50th game this Saturday 24 July as the Women host ADFA at The Nest at 1:40pm.
Written by – Josh Dunstall
Photos by – Jayzie Photography