Devastated family speak after star’s death
The devastated family of Aussie sporting marvel Jacinda Barclay have released a statement following her tragic death announced on Wednesday.
The 29-year-old died this week and her body was on Monday found inside her Chidlow home near Perth, according to WA Police.
Tributes to Barclay on Wednesday poured in from former teammates and admirers, who remembered the West Australian product as the perfect person to go into battle with in the sporting arena.
Her Aussie-Kiwi family then released a joint statement on Wednesday afternoon to ask that she be remembered as the daring, vibrant star that was loved by so many.
"She was a shining comet that soared through this world casting her radiant light of love on all she met," the statement said.
"Though that comet has now shattered into a million pieces, the memory of it will remain a beacon for all women in high profile sports to strive to excel, to dare to be great while staying humble and proud.
"The Whanau request that you respect our privacy at this sad time."
It comes as WA Police announced it is not treating Barclay's death as suspicious.
The AFLW also released a statement on Wednesday, passing on its "deepest compassion" to the family.
AFL Head of Women's Football Nicole Livingstone said: "There are few words that we can express at this time, other than to convey our sadness and sincerest condolences to the Barclay family.
"Jacinda's loss will be taken very hard by so many people within our game across all levels.
"On behalf of the AFL, I would like to express my deepest compassion to the Barclay family, friends and colleagues."
Steph Mur, who played with Barclay at the Chicago Bliss, was one of the first of Barclay's teammates to honour her memory.
"The news is devastating and our hearts are breaking," Mur posted on social media.
"Jacinda lived a life that most people could only imagine. She was an elite multi-sport athlete constantly shredding boundaries around the world. She was every coach and players' dream- a fearless leader full of positivity, vast knowledge, eagerness to grow and dedication to every team member. More importantly, she was an all-round badass person.
"I feel honoured to have played alongside you and more importantly to have known your beautiful energy and bubbly, comedic personality. Your brightness will never stop shining in our hearts. Rest easy Cinda!"
"Life is short," added Kayla Lee, who also played in the LFL.
"You never really know what someone is going through. This morning I woke up to the devastating news that we had lost one of the most vibrant, positive and spirited souls on this planet.
"Cinda has been one of my closest friends since we met 7 years ago training and playing in the LFL. She was my quarterback and always had my back. We trained hard, laughed hard and sometimes partied hard together.
"She was a naturally talented multi-sport athlete, who was driven, ambitious and a leader that was fighting demons none of us knew about. I am absolutely heartbroken and in complete shock."
Phoebe Monahan, who played with Barclay at the GWS Giants, wrote: "Rest easy Barcs."
Barclay grew up in Perth playing Aussie Rules against boys before turning her eye to the baseball diamond.
A right-armed pitcher, she was playing state baseball at the age of 15 before making the national team at age 17 for the 2008 World Cup in Japan.
She was part of the silver-medal winning outfit in Venezuela in 2010 before also playing in 2012, 2014 and 2016.
Intrigued by American football, Barclay attempted to play in the then-named Lingerie Football League in 2012 but was hampered by visa issues.
So she learned the game in Australia - and learned it fast, leading the NSW Surge to the championship in the sole season of LFL Australia in 2013-14.
After being named the best offensive player in the league she eventually made it to the States a couple of years later and also won a title there in her first season.
The Giants came calling ahead of the inaugural AFLW season in 2017, picking her up in the draft.
She played 23 games with GWS.
She will be remembered for much more than her sporting prowess.
Originally published as Devastated family speak after star's death