Claire Monique Colwill is a hockey player who was awarded a Tier 1 Scholarship within the 2023 Sport Australia Hall of Fame Scholarship and Mentoring Program. Her Mentor is Olympic gold medalist, Nat Cook OAM.
Born in 2003, Claire grew up in the regional town of Mackay in North Queensland where she began playing hockey for her school, St Joseph’s Catholic Primary, at the age of six (2009). Her passion for hockey grew from there as she made many memories both on and off the pitch with her friends. Her elite ability was evident as a child and at the age of 10, she was selected in her first Queensland team where she represented the U12 Queensland School Sport team. She made her debut later that year at a competition held in Hobart and since then, has represented her state at U13, U15, U16, U18 and open level.
A significant milestone in Claire’s career came when she was 16; she received a phone call from the head coach of the Brisbane Blaze asking her to compete in the inaugural Hockey One League. After some strong performances for the Blaze, Claire was selected to represent the Jillaroos (Australia’s U21 team) in a tri-series event against Japan.
Throughout COVID-19 affected years in 2020 and 2021 that saw many tournaments and events cancelled, Claire continued to work hard on her performance and focused on her schooling. Despite these disruptions in her journey to becoming an elite athlete, Claire still managed to attend many junior National Championship events where she was named captain of her team and has been successful in receiving multiple individual awards and team accolades.
In 2022, at just 18 years of age, Claire made her debut for the Hockeyroos (Australia’s National Women’s Team) in a Trans-Tasman match against New Zealand, before she was selected in both the Women’s World Cup (Bronze medalist) and Commonwealth Games teams.
Away from the hockey field, Claire is completing her Honours of Clinical Exercise Physiology.
“I am thrilled to be a recipient of the SAHOF Scholarship. Not only am I honoured to be a part of such a prestigious group, I am also grateful for the opportunity to seek guidance and support with one of Australia’s greats in Natalie Cook. To be able engage in one-on-one conversations with Nat will be a paralleled experience.”– Claire Colwill on being selected as a 2023 Tier 1 Scholarship Holder.
Honours & Achievements
- 2019: Hockey One League – Gold
- 2019: U18 National Championships – Gold
- 2021: U18 National Championships – Gold
- 2022: Hockeyroos
- 2022: Tri Series v New Zealand – Gold
- 2022: World Cup – Bronze
- 2022: Birmingham Commonwealth Games
- 2023: Sport Australia Hall of Fame Scholarship Holder
Mentor Nat Cook said “I dreamt of being an OLYMPIAN at age 8. I thought I would be a swimmer but tried my hand at every sport and then fell in love with the challenge of volleyball. 40 years on, I am honoured to now share in Claire’s journey. As a mentor, you never actually know what’s needed until the moment presents. My job is to be there when she needs a new question asked, to support her to find the answers herself as she pursues her dreams and goals. The road to the top is never a straight line, however, if you put yourself in a position to see the summit at all times, even if only in your mind’s eye, then it is much easier to take the 10,000 steps.”