Brooke Tonon - the Terrific Tiger
100 games played, a premiership medallion and a couple of state appearances … seems like a very fitting set of accolades that most players would be happy to retire with.
We say most because the East Gambier product Brooke Tonon is far from retiring age.
In fact, considering these accolades belong to her; it is pretty safe to say that she’ll add a lot more accolades to the list by the time she retires.
But overall, Brooke’s football career is promising and interesting to say the least.
Whether it is because she lives in Mount Gambier and has to travel all that way.
Or whether it is because she is a part of history;
“We were the first female South Australian AFL team to beat a Victorian side and to play in my hometown and home ground made it even more special.”
“One of my favourite memories was when our state team played in Mount Gambier in 2019.”
At the end of the day; Brooke Tonon’s story is one that will never get old.
And this is partly due to the impressive amount of achievements she has to her name already;
“Most Dedicated for East Gambier in 2017, 2018. Most consistent & 100 games for East 2019. Won the premiership in 2017 at East.”
“Crows Elite Girl’s Academy 2018/19.”
And remember before when we mentioned that she was a part of the history making state side?
Well she was actually the Vice-Captain of the side;
“It was a privilege to be chosen in the team and I was very grateful to be named Vice-Captain for an amazing group of girls.”
And considering her experience, it isn’t a surprise that she was awarded the Vice-Captaincy;
“I have been playing footy since 2014 for East Gambier Football Club in Mount Gambier.”
“I also played all my East games in the boy’s league.”
“I played for them until 2019; I have played for Glenelg’s U14s in 2017 and U17s in 2018 & 2019. SANFL state U16 girls’ team in 2018 & 2019.”
But how exactly did an East Gambier player get noticed by Glenelg?
“We got an email asking to try out for Glenelg a few years ago so dad drove me up there to give it a go. I went really well and had a great time. Luke Norman was the coach then. I got asked to trial again the next year, but instead of playing U15’s which was my age group I was asked to play in the U17 competition by Lexia Edwards who was the coach.”
“She coached me again this year and I believe she has allowed me to grow as a player and help me to improve."
And if our research is correct; it’s a 435-kilometre journey from Adelaide to Mount Gambier.
So, naturally there is a lot of commitment by Brooke and her family;
“It’s a very big commitment you have to make, but I love the sport. To keep on top of schoolwork I work with the teachers, do my work at recesses and lunches sometimes, and do my work in the car whilst travelling so I get it done with the high standard I want and before the due date.”
“I also make sure I always thank my parents for the commitment and sacrifices that they do for me. If you really want to go far in something, you will do what is needed which makes it easier for myself and my family as we know it will all be worthwhile.”
And looking back at what she has achieved; it has definitely been worthwhile.
Credit must also go to her family for supporting with the game she loves;
“I enjoy the team environment, everyone getting around you when you do something good like a strong tackle, getting a goal, contested mark etc. my favourite thing though is the physical contest aspect. I love the hard body contact which makes the game tough but fun.”
And just as a true leader; she values her teammates and also opponents;
“I love playing with everyone because they each bring something unique to the team and I can learn something from each and every one of them whether it be football related or not. I have also played with and against promising athletes which is amazing, and I’ll always be grateful for those opportunities.”
Considering her impressive past and extremely promising future, there are also some people she would like to thank;
“I’d love to thank my dad for always taking me up to Adelaide for training and games even if he may be on midnight shift that night, he is always trying to help me improve my game and I really appreciate everything else he does. My mum continually supports me, helps me train, and pushes me to be my best.”
“I’d like to thank East Gambier Football Club for giving me the opportunity to play football and leading me to the opportunities available now. My state coaches, local coaches, and all of the programs that I have been a part of have also helped me grow into the athlete that I am now.”
Before we said how Brooke’s story is promising, interesting and will never get old.
And this was partly due to her impressive number of accolades.
But the best part about Brooke’s career is the fact that it is nowhere near over; and considering her goals going forwards, its going to get a lot better;
“I wish to play the highest level possible of AFL that I can. I also want to go to university and study something along the lines of exercise, sport, and health to eventually get a job within the AFL or AFLW.”
So, Brooke’s story is interesting, impressive and full of promise but at the end of the day.
It is only just beginning.