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Award caps off ground-breaking year – Cocksedge

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Kendra Cocksedge     21 Dec 2018     Getty Images

Things have got a little crazy since I was named as the first ever female winner of the Kelvin. R. Tremain Memorial Trophy at the ASB Rugby Awards.

My social media has blown up with congratulations messages pouring in from around the world. I was blown away to even receive messages from sportspeople I admire like Paige Hareb and Sophie Pascoe and All Blacks like TJ Perenara and Jerome Kaino.

QUICK TAP: THE 2018 NEW ZEALAND RUGBY FORM XV

It has been a surreal time, but as I reflect on the accolade, I think it caps off what has been a ground-breaking year for women’s rugby.

From the first ever women’s professional contracts to Molenberg’s sponsorship of the Black Ferns and Black Ferns Sevens to New Zealand being granted hosting rights to the 2021 Women’s Rugby World Cup, It has been great to see women’s rugby get more recognition this year.

If 2018 is anything to go by, I can’t wait for 2019. 

For me, the training started straight after the ASB Rugby Awards. Winning awards just makes me hungrier and gives me more drive to succeed. I am sitting on 47 Test caps for the Black Ferns and want to hit 50 in 2019. It would be an honour for me to join Fiao’o Faamausili as the only two Black Ferns to achieve that milestone.
When I started playing, rugby wasn’t a big sport for women and girls but has grown massively over the past decade. I want to thank my family for giving me the opportunity to play and supporting me along every step of the way from the grassroots to the international stage.

I know there’s some young girls out there who might not get the opportunity to play. I hope that by winning the Kel Tremain Player of the Year Award, parents will realise that it is possible for their daughters to also play this amazing sport. Through rugby I’ve made amazing friends, travelled the world, had incredible experiences and made bonds with my teammates that will last a lifetime.

I’m going to round out this column with a shout out to those who have helped me along the way. Thanks to my family, Black Ferns management, my Canterbury and club teams, my friends and flatmates. You all help me to be the best that I can be.

To everyone out there, have a safe, happy and relaxing Christmas and New Year. See you in 2019.