Rosa Boyd flagbearer at ANOC World Beach Games


Beach handballer Rosa Boyd will lead the Australian Team at the inaugural ANOC World Beach Games in Doha, after being announced as flagbearer for tonight’s Opening Ceremony.


 photo credit ANOC World Beach Games

The 31-year-old Gold Coast local has 14 years’ experience at the international level in both indoor and beach handball national teams.


Australian Chef de Mission John Boultbee said Rosa will represent the 40-strong Australian Team with pride.


“Congratulations to Rosa and the handball community on being announced as flagbearer for the Australian team,” Boultbee said. “Rosa will represent 40 athletes from seven sports across the Olympic family at this first ever World Beach Games.”


“Beach Handball is the largest team for Australia here in Doha and they have already set a great example of what it means to represent Australia – competing hard, overcoming some tough conditions and always performing with respect and a positive attitude. As part of the handball leadership group Rosa has already played a key role in setting a positive tone for the whole Team here in Doha.


“Outside of the handballers heavy competition schedule, Rosa will be supporting other Australian athletes to be at their best for competition and make the most of this Games experience.”


Boyd was surprised but delighted at the honour of representing Australian athletes at tonight’s Opening Ceremony.


“This is so exciting, I was so taken aback, wasn’t expecting it at all,” Boyd said. “When I was told John [Boultbee] wanted to chat to me I thought ‘Oh no what have I done!’ So it was a great surprise.”


“This means a lot, not just for me but for the sport of handball – it’s such an incredible sport and this Games will help show off what we do as handballers and encourage more people to give it a go.”


Since debuting on the indoor national team in 2005 aged just 17 years, mother of two Boyd has competed across the world for Australian indoor and beach teams.


“Handball is like nothing else you’ve ever played, and you have so much fun doing it, and beach handball really fits into Australian lifestyle.


“Having had two kids it was a lot easier to transition back into beach with shorter games of 10 minute halves. And how many sports do you get to do ally-oops, 360 spins and a face full of sand as part of normal gameplay and want to get straight back up and do it again - it’s awesome.”


Boyd’s love of the game meant nothing would keep her off the sand for long, competing at World Championships just seven months after having her first child and four months after breaking her leg.


“I couldn’t wait to get back competing. I took my then 7-month-old to a World Championships in Netherlands and Poland. I actually broke my leg about 3 months post-partum, so came back from that as well and took my youngest over to Netherlands and Poland to get back into international competition.


“It was an amazing experience, I wouldn’t change it for the world. You have to be really resilient, beach handball can be a brutal sport but it definitely makes us tough.”