Adelaide Arsenal’s Wide Receiver’ for their inaugural Legends Football League (LFL) season Elisabetta Del-Re is a woman from the school of hard knocks.
She has hung up the boxing gloves to take on this role.
A former state champion boxer and Contax netballer was excited at the opportunity to try-out in the women’s gridiron team, which uses a combination of the fundamentals from her former two sports, something the 30 year old found a motivating factor
Previously Del-Re had an AIS scholarship and was a part of an Olympic Boxing program.
“The biggest catalyst for me was dragging myself out of my comfort zone both mentally and physically,” Del Re, a qualified diamond grader, said.
“I must admit, the thought of playing a fast growing sport (LFL) at a state level definitely appealed to me.
“It’s a fantastic opportunity that I couldn’t let slip away.
“The thought of combining the fundamentals of my two favourite sports into one was exciting.
“Gridiron is a fast paced game with elements of full contact and a high level of ball skill.
Eight years ago Del Re took on boxing to learn self defence skills. Within six months Del-Re had her first bout and then went on to win three state titles, along with a national silver medal.
“Coming from a boxing background, the biggest change (to Gridiron) for me is relying on six team mates to execute their role on field,” she explained.
“In Boxing it’s up to just you to get the job done.
“I find the components of both sports to be quite similar.
Many of the players in the squad have come from different sporting codes as they learn their trade in Gridiron and Del Re has enjoyed every moment of the intense training since May.
“It’s refreshing to be around a bunch of girls that are so encouraging and supportive,” Del-Re continued.
“To be surrounded by people that have the same desire to challenge themselves in this new code.
“For me, it’s having a second family with the same goal as myself. I now have 25 sisters that I work closely with to make me the best athlete I can be and vice versa.
“We all come from different sporting backgrounds; we share our knowledge and experiences with each other, to help us grow and improve ourselves as individuals - seeing the improvement is amazing, Adelaide Arsenal has a strong, unique bond that will not be broken.
“My biggest inspiration is my dad.
“He has diabetes which almost took his life, including having his leg amputated, but this still doesn't stop him.
“When I'm feeling fatigued and my mind is telling me to stop, I think of him and find the fuel to keep going.
For the next three months Del-Re will continue her intense training schedule in preparation for the Arsenal’s first match.
She hopes South Australian people get behind their newest team and appreciate the players’ fitness and skills which will be on show at Coopers Stadium, Hindmarsh, from October 11.
The Arsenal’s initial encounter is against the Queensland Brigade.
“I would suggest that the viewers watch the game with an open mind to really appreciate the level of athleticism that all these girls possess on field.
“We train very hard so we will be fully prepared for October and it will be evident when you see us play”
“I believe that LFL will have a positive impact.
“The Adelaide people are avid sport supporters of local teams; especially on a national level.”
The LFL will give huge opportunities for South Australian female athletes and much needed media coverage for woman in sport.