Sturt’s India Rasheed claims 2024 Powerade Breakthrough Player at SANFLW Awards

Sturt midfielder India Rasheed wins the 2024 Powerade Breakthrough Player Award in the SANFL Women’s League, becoming the first from her club to clinch this honour since its inception.

India Rasheed, a midfielder for Sturt, has been named the recipient of the 2024 Powerade Breakthrough Player Award at the Hostplus SANFL Women’s League, following an outstanding season. The announcement came during tonight’s awards ceremony held at Adelaide Oval.

At only 17 years old, Rasheed showcased her football prowess throughout the league season, managing to average 24 disposals, five clearances, and five inside 50s across her 12 appearances. Her remarkable performance in Round 2, where she accumulated 21 disposals, eight tackles, five marks, and two goals against the Tigers, secured her nomination for this prestigious award.

This achievement not only highlights her individual capabilities but also marks her as the first player from Sturt to receive this honour since the inception of the Powerade Breakthrough Player Award in 2017.

The award night saw Rasheed receive a $1,000 cash prize along with a trophy, provided by Powerade, recognising her significant potential and impressive contributions to her team.

Rasheed’s football talent is complemented by her pedigree, being the daughter of former Double Blue footballer and international tennis coach Roger Rasheed. She also played a crucial role in the South Australian Girls U18 team, underscoring her growing influence in the sport.

The criteria for the Powerade Breakthrough Player Award stipulate that contenders must be under the age of 21 at the beginning of the year, ensuring that the spotlight remains on emerging young talents within the SANFL Women’s League.

The judgment panel for this year’s award included several notable figures such as SANFL General Manager Football Matt Duldig, SANFL Female Talent Manager Robbie Neill, among others, indicating the high level of scrutiny and consideration involved in the decision-making process.

Aside from Rasheed, Sturt players Monique Bessen and Zara Walsh were also acknowledged with nominations during this season, demonstrating the club’s strong performance. Both Sturt and South Adelaide were prominent in the nominations, each having three players considered for the award.

India Rasheed’s recognition as the 2024 Breakthrough Player is not just a personal victory but a significant moment for Sturt and an encouraging sign for the future of women’s football in the SANFL. The support from institutions and brands like Powerade and Hostplus also highlights the growing enthusiasm and backing for the women’s league, ensuring promising players like Rasheed continue to have a platform for their talents.

The success of the SANFL Women’s League and its players like India Rasheed are vital in promoting and developing female talent in the sport, contributing to a more dynamic and inclusive Australian football scene. Rasheed’s award win is sure to inspire many young athletes and signifies the exciting potential of the next generation of women footballers in South Australia.

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