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Roxy Roux isn’t one to be held back by any perceived limitations.
At 170cm, Roux would never be considered for a ruck role on paper. But such is her leap, she’s pinch-hit in the ruck for East Fremantle in their past two premiership seasons.
In her junior football years, Roux was almost prevented from playing junior football for Dongara because of her gender.
But her club backed her in and ensured she could play - and her teammates supported this call and voted her in as captain of the boys’ team.
The 17-year-old just loves her football, and after idolising the pioneers of the AFLW, she’s now able to call them her teammates.
“Football in a country town is everything. There was something about it growing up and playing, it just really excited me,” Roux said.
“It was such a fun game to play, being around all of my teammates and being able to create that bond with people that I went to school with, it was a great experience for me.”
Roux said she felt indebted to the Dongara Junior Football Club for ensuring that she could chase her dream.
“In my last year of football in Dongara, there was a vote going around all of the footy clubs that they didn‘t want me to play that year,” Roux said.
“I eventually ended up playing through the help of a few people in the Dongara committee, Robert Mark and Kylie Hill, who really just advocated for me and eventually I got my spot.
“It showed how much we were a family when they voted for me as their captain.
“It was a really big step, I think, for the town of Dongara to have me come in and be this no-name person and all of a sudden I’m the captain of the boys footy team, which I never thought I’d ever be.”
Roux said she also had incredible support from her family.
“For the three years that I did State under 15s and 16s, my Mum drove me for five hours, give or take, to Perth and back for a two hour training session and then all the way back to Dongara that night,” Roux said.
“It just shows a mother’s love - she always wants every single child of hers to succeed and realise their dreams, she pushes us and she’s an amazing mum.
“Dad had to come up all that way to see me play football, he watched my finals and everything like that, taking my step mother along.
“There was always that support there from both sides of my family and it was never a split or a divide between us. We were all one team.”