Knight ready for big test

Ashleigh Knight will represent the national under-19 futsal team and take up a University of Queensland scholarship in 2012.
Ashleigh Knight will represent the national under-19 futsal team and take up a University of Queensland scholarship in 2012. Claudia Baxter

AFTER recently securing her second Australian futsal team jersey, graduating from year 12 and preparing to take up a University of Queensland scholarship, life must seem pretty good right now for Ashleigh Knight.

The 17-year-old will travel to San Francisco in May next year as part of the national under-19 futsal team after completing a tour of Brazil in August this year.

Considering the Eastern Heights teenager set her major sporting goal as representing her country, it may be time for her to raise the bar a little higher.

"My dream was always to get into the Australian team," Knight said.

"That's what I have been working for so to make it two years in a row is basically my dream come true."

But it's not just on the futsal arena that this sporty teenager excels.

During her time at Bremer State High School, Knight has displayed her athletic talent across a range of different sports, including hockey, squash, volleyball and athletics.

You would think with so much time devoted to physical activity, the bubbly teenager would struggle to fit in the all-important school work.

It appears even that is a breeze for Knight

"Mum doesn't let me do heaps of sport when I've got a lot of school work on my plate," she said. "Most people can't do it but I actually find it pretty easy ... I think if you can do it then just do it."

Knight is looking forward to taking up her scholarship next year as part of the University of Queensland "Young Achievers Program".

Despite remaining undecided about exactly what degree she will study, Knight is certain of one thing - sport, in particular futsal, will be an integral part of her university experience.

"They have a great sports program at UQ so I'm planning to maintain my sport while I'm there," she said.

"I'll definitely keep playing futsal because it's great for my fitness.

"Training sessions are pretty intense so you have to be pretty fit because you are on the go all the time."

With the experience of the Brazil tour still fresh in her mind, Knight said she is more confident than ever leading into her USA tour.

"We thought we would get flogged in Brazil because they are known for their amazing futsal players but we managed to be pretty even with them through most of our games," she said.

"We (Australia) have a really strong team this time.

"I haven't really heard much about the American teams but I think we can give them a run for their money."

Regardless of whether or not the Ipswich sports star enjoys a stellar senior sporting career, one thing remains clear ... she won't be slowing down anytime soon.

"I don't know what I'd do without sport," she said.

"It's just a part of my life, I'm just so used to it."

Topics:  futsal under-19 usa

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