When she was just 15-years-old, a “tall and lanky” Becchara Palmer was spotted playing tennis and basketball by a scout from the South Australian Sports Institute’s talent program.
But it wasn’t her forehand or jump shot the Institute were thinking about.
“They took a look at me and said, “you’re tall, you have long lanky arms, we think you might be ok at volleyball.” The very first session I loved it. I quit basketball and tennis within weeks,” Becchara recalled.
Still in her teens in 2005, she began competing in beach volleyball, and the following year she teamed with Alice Rohkamper to win the Junior World Championship title in Bermuda.
In 2009 she teamed with Louise Bawden and after winning back-to-back national titles in 2010 and 2011, the pair qualified, then competed at the London Olympics in 2012.
She was selected as first reserve for the Rio Games in 2016, but soon after Becchara decided to walk away from volleyball. It wasn’t long after that decision that she received a call from Adelaide Crows’ AFLW coach Bec Goddard, and following an impromptu trial at Adelaide’s Football Park, she was signed to rookie contract in 2018.
She tried football for a year, then returned to beach volleyball but unfortunately didn’t qualify for the Tokyo Olympics.
It was around that time back in 2018 that Becchara and her partner Richelle decided to foster a greyhound. After initially fostering a dog for two months, they decided to foster again.
They had spotted the profile of Sterling (then Tiger) on the GAP website, and he instantly stole their hearts. They went to the Greyhounds As Pets adoption centre at Wyee and then …
“Sterling gets walked out and that was it. I literally had tears of happiness in my eyes,” Becchara recalled.
“I knew he was my dog before I had even patted him. He’s probably the most extroverted greyhound I have seen. He’s full throttle, but then he will also sleep 15 hours a day. He has both speeds which I really like.
“We tried a couple of times to go for a training run. I thought, he’ll make a great running buddy, but he stops and sniffs everything. I start running, then I have to stop, and then I start, and then stop. Needless to say it didn’t last long.
“The biggest thing is I find him so grounding. When I am home, and when I am around him, he’s my best mate, so I find that I can recharge and recover and he’s the perfect recovery buddy.
“He’s very in tune and picks up on everything. If you are feeling a bit down or having a not so great day, he leans in a bit more, or he’ll come over and rest his head on your leg. He’s the most special boy.
“He is a true star, you can even follow his adventures on Instagram at @Sterling.the.grey!”