Barclay played Australian rules in the AFLW for the Greater Western Sydney Giants and had a sporting background in baseball and American football.
She made 23 appearances for the Giants over four seasons, represented Australia as a pitcher in the Women’s Baseball World Cup five times, and also played as a quarterback for the Chicago Bliss in the Legends Football League in the United States, winning a championship in her debut season.
In a statement released by the AFLW, Barclay’s family said: “She was a shining comet that soared through this world casting her radiant light of love on all she met.
“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.”
At about 4:35 pm on Monday, police received information regarding a woman who was found unresponsive at a residence in Chidlow, according to a Western Australia Police Force spokesperson.
“Police and St John Ambulance personnel attended the residence and upon arrival it was confirmed the 29-year-old woman was deceased,” said the spokesperson.
“The woman’s death is not being treated as suspicious and a report will be prepared for the coroner.”
Barclay joined the Giants from the UNSW-ES Bulldogs as the 65th pick in the 2016 AFLW draft.
“Jacinda was a much-loved member of the Giants family and we are all devastated by her passing,” said the club’s chief executive David Matthews.
“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.”
In baseball, Barclay, who was born in Western Australia, made her World Cup debut aged 17. She won a silver and two bronze medals across five World Cups between 2008 and 2016.
“It’s truly tragic news and we extend our thoughts to those close to Jacinda,” said Baseball Australia chief executive Cam Vale.
“Jacinda made a significant contribution not only to our sport over a long period of time but a number of other sports, on and off the field.
“We are deeply shocked and saddened by Jacinda’s passing and the loss of a member of our tight-knit baseball community.”
She also used to work as a labourer and a ward clerk at a private hospital, saying: “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.”
Barclay was placed on the inactive list ahead of the 2021 season, meaning she was still a Giants player but unavailable for selection.
“Reach out. Stay with them even if you didn’t know Jacinda Barclay personally, chances are her death is impacting your friends. Strength to all today.”