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Sporting world rocked by death of AFLW player Jacinda Barclay aged 29

Tributes have poured in from Australia and the US, remembering Jacinda Barclay as a woman "constantly shredding boundaries around the world".

Tributes have poured in from around the sporting world after multitalented sportswoman Jacinda Barclay died aged 29.

An AFLW player with the GWS Giants, Barclay previously represented Australia in baseball and played American football at home and in the US.

It’s understood Barclay died on Tuesday.

“Rest easy Barcs,” former GWS teammate Phoebe Monahan wrote on Instagram.

Monahan’s post was filled with love hearts from AFLW players such as Katie Brennan, Sarah Hosking, Kaitlyn Ashmore, Monique Conti and Sarah Perkins.

Returning to Australian Rules football - her favourite sport as a child - when the AFLW began in 2017, Barclay joined the GWS Giants and made 23 appearances in four seasons.

“Jacinda was a much-loved member of the Giants family and we are all devastated by her passing,” GWS chief executive David Matthews said.

Jacinda Barclay at an AFLW match with the GWS Giants in 2020.
Jacinda Barclay at an AFLW match with the GWS Giants in 2020. Credit: Getty

“Jacinda gave up a great deal to follow her sporting dreams around the world and we are grateful that she called our club home for four years.

“As an inaugural Giants AFLW player, Jacinda was a vital part of our club. More than that though, Jacinda’s spirit and infectious personality made her a popular and unforgettable member of the Giants family. She will always be a part of our club.

“Our thoughts and condolences are with Jacinda’s family and friends during this extremely tough time.”

The Perth-born athlete had prioritised baseball - Barclay went to multiple World Cups with Australia, winning a silver medal in 2010 - and American football for more than a decade.

Jacinda Barclay in her days playing baseball for Australia.
Jacinda Barclay in her days playing baseball for Australia. Credit: Instagram

Steph Muir, Barclay’s ex-teammate in the Legends Football League in the US, paid tribute to a woman who was “constantly shredding boundaries around the world”.

“The news is devastating & our hearts are breaking,” Muir wrote.

“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, & dedication to every team member. More importantly, she was an all-around badass person.

Ex-teammate Steph Muir remembers Jacinda Barclay.
Ex-teammate Steph Muir remembers Jacinda Barclay. Credit: Instagram

“I feel honored to have played alongside you & more importantly to have known your beautiful energy & bubbly, comedic personality. Your brightness will never stop shining in our hearts. Rest easy Cinda!”

Deena Fagiano, another of Barclay’s former LFL teammates, said she would always be inspired by her “goofy” and brave Australian friend.

“Devastated, my heart is Broken. The world has lost the brightest light, most badass athlete, and amazing friend,” Fagiano wrote.

“I am honored to have had you in my life and play along side you. Your energy was Infectious and I will always be inspired by your determination.

Jacinda Barclay played four seasons with the GWS Giants.
Jacinda Barclay played four seasons with the GWS Giants. Credit: AAP

“Your bravery to travel around the world to lead a team you had never met always continues to impress me and I will always have incredible respect for you.

“You Always Always made me laugh by doing some goofy “Aussie” something and I will continue to hold on to those memories forever! RIP girl love you and you will always be missed.”

Away from the sporting fields Barclay worked across multiple industries, heading underwater as a technician on oil rigs, working as a labourer and as a ward clerk at a private hospital.

“Any mature female athlete who wants to pursue sport has to juggle her career as well, so it’s nothing unusual for me, or that category,” she told the AFLW website last year.

If you need help in a crisis, call Lifeline on 13 11 14. For further information about depression contact beyondblue on 1300224636 or talk to your GP, local health professional or someone you trust.

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