December 15, 2013
SHE can bench press 100kg and runs 10km three times a week.
But according to the Legends Football League, Australia's version of the controversial American Lingerie League, 18-year-old Mikaila Perrett's last-minute exclusion from the team had nothing to do with her looks or size, but was because she isn't fit enough.
Mikaila said it was only as she went to put on her uniform to pose for the team photo - having travelled to Sydney with the Queensland Brigade after being named on the starting team last weekend - that she was told that she wasn't allowed to gear up for the photograph or play.
Having trained in the sport for 18 months, Mikaila had sent a photo of herself in a bikini to the sport's American headquarters for approval.
"They told me I was not lean enough so I trained my arse off and dropped another five kilograms, but apparently it was still not enough,'' Mikaila said.
"I cried, bawled my eyes out. It had already affected me and the looks component was in my mind but this has kind of affected my self-esteem and I'm not so confident anymore.
"It's very looks focused. I go to the gym with one of the girls who has been named as one of the players to watch, she said she needed to stop eating.
"Some of the girls are starving themselves to be OK."
Mikaila's dad, Randy Perrett, said the league's claims it is an elite sport are rubbish.
"(Legends Football League chairman) Mitch Mortaza has always maintained that the game is about skill not skin,'' he said.
"She flew to Sydney with the team, paid for a spray tan as is compulsory only to be told right before the game that she wasn't approved to wear the uniform.
"It's never been mentioned that her fitness is in question, it's always been her looks that have been mentioned."
But a spokeswoman for LFL Australia insisted it was Mikaila's fitness was the problem.
"Much like any high profile sport federation or club, there are physical fitness standards to enable the athlete to achieve maximum performance levels,'' she said.