High School marvel is kicking goals

Year 12 Woodridge State High School student Eliza Lopamaua has conquered some great heights in 2022 in what is sure to be a wonderful and long rugby league career.

After being selected for the Met East state carnival every year and having twice been selected to play in the U16-18’s to play for Queensland, this year, Eliza captained her Met East side to a national championship, and the won the first ever Schoolgirls State of Origin in July representing QLD, defeating NSW 30-6.

Eliza then went on to be chosen as the Vice Captain in the inaugural Australian Schoolgirls Rugby League side, which recently toured Fiji, winning against their national team 48-0.

In case all of that wasn’t enough, Eliza has been signed to the Sydney Roosters and Woodridge State High School has now created a girls rugby league award, called the Eliza Boznanski Lopamaua Shield, in her honour.

“I’ve always wanted to be an athlete, from the age of about 10 I played netball first, and then rugby,” Eliza said.

Eliza said Woodridge State High School provided a lot of her sporting opportunities.

“I loved the school’s girls’ program and in the females in rugby league, so I wanted to hold that integrity and not go to any other schools because I know it’s here, she said”

“They specialise in what sport you choose, and they’ll develop your character beyond sports, they’ll develop your character for you every day in the outside world.

“A big thing I’ve learnt here at Woodridge is integrity, I’ve shown integrity by leading the Schoolgirl’s Rugby team and I’ve encouraged them to play and build their confidence.

“I’m going to Sydney, I’m going to be living it there, and every time I chuck on that jersey, that Roosters jersey, I know where I come from and where it started off, and it was here at Woodridge.”

Sports teacher and former coach of Eliza, Tim Boxall, said Eliza’s talents were clear to see from the get-go.

“Eliza came in Grade 7, and she was outstanding at athletics, she was a 100m sprinter, she excelled at shotput and discus as well,” Tim said.

“We gave her plenty of different opportunities across all different sports.

“She was our Sports Captain in Grade 12 as well and that’s about her giving back to the school community.

“When she enrolled in Grade 7 there was no rugby league program for girls.

She’s gone to all the gala days and to all of the events that we could get her into because seeing her ability, we’ve built a program and it has fully inspired by her.

“Previously, Woodridge State High School has only had a boy’s award for rugby league, called the Josh Papali’i Shield.

“Eliza is the first girl to have won that award for her achievements this year and now we have created a new award for all the girls coming through.

“The Eliza Boznanski Lopamaua Shield will be awarded to the standout girls rugby league player of the year, for any year level.”

Eliza has donated her winning Rugby League jersey to the school to inspire younger students.

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