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It's all good for young athlete

Seeley, 21, graduated from Warrensburg Junior/Senior High School in 2003 and is a senior at Philadelphia Biblical University. She is majoring in secondary education and wants to be a high school English and other language teacher, and she also loves field hockey. Coach (Maryann) Bump started teaching us in third grade, Seeley said. Im still in touch with her, she is one of the greatest influences on my life. Seeley has played midfield and was on the varsity field hockey team in Warrensburg for three years, going to the state championship game in her junior year. That was an amazing time, she said. As a senior, she was captain of the team and made the all-star team. Seeley has played college field hockey and was sad when the last game was over during her senior year. I actually cried, I didnt know when Id ever play again, she said. Her opportunity came unexpectedly when she received a letter from USA Athletics International, inviting her to be a part of an international field hockey team, playing in the Arafura Games this May in Darwin, Australia. They look at your stats, and how many years you play and they pick 18 players to go, Seeley said. Im on the roster. First, she has to raise the $4,500 for her trip, and she sent out letters to friends, family and businesses and as of last week, had reached $3,500. The Arafura Games began in 1991 with 1,500 participants from seven countries, competing in 13 sports. They are played every two years in Darwin. This year, the games will host over 3,000 athletes from 25 nations, competing in 23 sports. This is a great opportunity to play on the international stage, Seeley said. Its a chance to play professionally and to experience a different culture. The games will be played in Darwin, at the top end of Australia. Darwin is known as a rugged and beautiful frontier town on the edge of the outback. Well be in the opening ceremonies, sort of like a mini-Olympics, Seeley said. Seeley will make her own way to Los Angeles and depart from there with the group on May 10 for Sydney. Theyll lose a day as they cross the international date line, and will arrive in Darwin on Saturday, May 12, the day of the opening ceremonies. Over the next six days, she will compete in one or two matches a day with a rest in the middle of the week. Between games, Seeley and her fellow athletes can explore the area or take optional tours. After the closing ceremonies and a Darwin Street Party on May 19, Seeleys group will fly to Cairns, on the Great Barrier Reef the next day. Theyll have the chance to experience the area either by themselves or by optional tours and trips, flying to Sydney and then home on May 22. Seeley is very excited about this opportunity. These are two of my favorite things, she said. I get to play field hockey and to go to Australia!

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