Australia

Delma Gisu uses love for mum to fuel drive to become an AFLW star

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A 22-year-old from the Torres Strait Islands is looking to make her mark in the AFLW.

The first-ever Torres Strait Islander drafted by the GWS Giants’ is looking to make her mark in the women’s Australian rules football league, the AFLW.

Delma Gisu hails from Mer Island in the Torres Strait (also known as Murray Island), a community with a population of less than 500 people.

Delma Gisu first started playing AFL five years ago.
Delma Gisu first started playing AFL five years ago.
Daniela Intili/SBS

“It was actually my goal to be the first Torres Strait Islander to play in the AFLW which is actually a dream come true,” said Delma.

Raised by a single mother, the 22-year old is one of eight children in a life that has included many obstacles.

"I look back at mum and how she raised us and I was like how did she raise eight kids by herself?

Her mother's sacrifices still resonate strongly.

Delma Gisu with her role model, her mum.
Delma Gisu with her role model, her mum.
Supplied

“Growing up, we were moving from house to house so I had I this dream that I wanted to do something for my mum to make her really happy.

“So I prayed."

Delma wanted to become a professional basketballer.

She had no interest in AFL but her talents with the AFl game ball, the Sherrin, were quickly noticed.

The promising forward was named in the 2015 Under 18s All Australian side.

Delma Gisu with her family paying tribute to their Torres Strait Islander roots.
Delma Gisu with her family paying tribute to their Torres Strait Islander roots.
Supplied

Delma then went on to play in the QWAFL and the Gold Coast Suns in the competition's second-tier.

“Running out on the field I feel really comfortable, I leave everything behind and it’s just me and the ball," she said.

“I turned all the negative stuff from my past into positives and something that lifts me up more.”

Delma speaks with overwhelming emotion when she recalls the first time her mother watched her play.

Delma's mum.
Delma's mum.
Supplied

“She was so proud and speechless, like she was crying when she saw me running on the field.”

Having taken a giant step in AFLW history, Delma hopes she's the first of many and that her story becomes one of hope and inspiration, on and off the field.

She said her advice to other aspiring athletes is simple.

"Don’t be shy, just go out there and give it a crack.”

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