There are fun players, there are good players and every now and then there is a player that stands head and shoulders above other players, a truly worldclass player. Mandy Marchak is such a player. She is the only player I have seen repeatedly dig a team out of a hole with try after try, mostly in the dying minutes of a game and usually involving a searing long run! With no hesitation she would be in my invitational world 7’s team (if I had one).
From her first try outs were she ended up with stress fractures on her lower vertebrates and seven months out, to returning to play and in the first game
separating a girls shoulder with a tackle - she has met rugby head on! What a start to a career - and it’s gone from strength to strength from there on….
I have been very privileged to have known Mandy for some time now and to watch her play and develop. She has always been a good player, but as time has
gone on she has developed into a phenomenal player on the field, yet her off-field character and persona have remained constant.
This last year has seen Mandy, as part of the Canadian set up, win numerous awards and silverware around the globe. As well as this, she has supported
invitational sides such as The Moody Cows and charity challenges such as The Four Peaks for the Wooden Spoons. What a year, what a player and what a person.
But what makes someone like this tick? What makes her get up in the morning and what sort of person is she really?
Family, for her are the bedrock of this, with huge support from them: being there for her, allowing her to pursue her dream and pushing her to excel.
“My goal in the game is to be the best. I wake up every day thinking about what I’m going to do that day that others across the world aren’t.”
This goal has driven her to this point and it’s working! Coupled with this, there is a genuine humility and gratitude for doing what she enjoys doing.
To her it’s not a sacrifice training, travelling etc., it’s a life choice that she has willingly made and does not regret for one moment. This is her mantra.
This is what drives her and sets her apart.
From my first interaction with Mandy through to my last conversation with her she is humble and very quick to acknowledge the team and everyone else around
her. The consistency over time in her character has really stood out for me; she has in no way changed. A great player and a lovely friend.