NEW HEIGHTS: Skye Houliston, 14, was named in Queensland Rugby League's first female Queensland Academy of Sport squad.
NEW HEIGHTS: Skye Houliston, 14, was named in Queensland Rugby League's first female Queensland Academy of Sport squad. Alistair Brightman

Skye's the limit for this Fraser Coast footballer

SKYE Houliston has always wanted to build a professional sporting career.

When she was younger, her chosen sport was tennis, but before she really had the chance to become the next Sam Stosur she set her sights on the Steeden.

The 14-year-old became heavily involved in touch footy and rugby league, and while she always had the skill and speed to match the best she never got past regional level.

Then a phone call changed everything.

Houliston is among the first 21 girls to be invited to join Queensland Rugby League's inaugural female Queensland Academy of Sport squad.

The squad will participate in a three-day camp at the Gold Coast in early January, in what is a similar development program to the one implemented for the Maroons' Origin side in 2001.

"It's exciting but I'm a bit nervous about it,” she said.

"Just going down there and having such high people looking at you and your skills is nerve-racking.”

The majority of the squad play as Brisbane-based teams, though south-east, central and northern divisions supplied players.

"It was really exciting knowing that I'll be playing at such a high level,” Houliston said.

"It really makes you keen to see what you can do.”

The Hervey Bay Seagulls halfback said she believed her speed, passing ability, and communication were the biggest reasons why she was selected.

She has developed those skills over four to five years of rugby league and touch.

"It started at interschool sports so like a muck-around thing, but over the years it's gotten better as the skills developed,” she said.

"As a kid I always wanted to play tennis but as I've gotten older I'm seeing that I like league better.”

QRL managing director Robert Moore said the initiative marked an important step for the game.



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