Sheffield Aussie Rules footballer Jo Strong goes from beginner to England team in nine months
An all-round Sheffield sportswoman has been selected for the England women's team to play in the Aussie Rules Football Euro Cup in France next month.
The 36-year-old Jo Strong only took up the sport at the beginning of the year.
She is a utility player, representing Nottingham Scorpions and North London at club level in defence or attack.
The nine-a-side Euro Cup competition will be played in Bordeaux on Saturday October 7.
Jo has just completed her sixth marathon in seven years, raising thousands of pounds for charity.
She ran the Oslo marathon in 5 hours 6 mins. “I was rather disappointed with the time as I’d clocked four and a half hours last year in Helsinki but it was a surprisingly hilly urban course – a bit like Sheffield !”, said Jo.
Jo is also a soccer player who played regularly as a defender for Steel City Wanderers last season and also played for Socrates, the South West Sheffield girls football club, twice at the end of the 2015-16 season.
She is the award-winning exercise referral co-ordinator for Place and People, based at the Graves Tennis and Leisure Centre in Norton, helping heart-attack patients with their rehabilitation.
She has collected £5000 for the British Heart Foundation by running marathons, which have also taken her to Berlin, Paris, Edinburgh and Amsterdam.
She also cycled from London to Paris.
Of her selection for England, Jo said: ”It was a surprise but an amazing honour to be selected for my country ..and in a game that I absolutely love.”