Sasha Kelly (Denison), Tori Rouse (St Pats), Mickeali Walker (St Pats) and Olivia Windon (Blackwater).
Sasha Kelly (Denison), Tori Rouse (St Pats), Mickeali Walker (St Pats) and Olivia Windon (Blackwater).

Netball girls just wanna have fun

THEY may not have registered a win and they weren’t even vying for representative selection but that wasn’t an issue for these Capricorn under-11 netballers because all they wanted was to have fun.

The juniors starred in their first State Netball Championships earlier this month, taking on the might and power of a number of well-drilled metropolitan outfits.

The girls’ introductory year at the elite level was a stepping stone to possible Queensland selection in the under-12 division.

Team manager Trish Ruddick said despite the losses, combinations came together remarkably well considering the side’s relative inexperience.

“None of the girls really knew each other and none of the girls had played together as one unit,” Trish said.

“But we did find some consistency and a few good combinations by the end of it and they all thoroughly enjoyed themselves.

“It was not as though they were down on themselves for not winning a game – they were just happy to be there.”

Trish said the task was even more difficult considering Capricornia was one of only two teams at the championships, not included in regular metropolitan competition.

“That’s just the geography of our region,” she said. “Where they only have to drive a short distance for games, our team is stretched from as far north as Mackay out to Emerald and south to Gladstone.”

The girls would have felt reassured with top-line instruction from Emerald netballer and Capricorn Claw’s player Anna Young. Young has featured prominently in regional netball development in the past, volunteering to take on the under-11 coaching role as another work in progress.

Trish highlighted the toll such high representation could take on players, support staff, mums, dads and everyone involved in getting kids to events.

“It’s all worth it in the end,” she said. “We do it for the kids, that’s what it’s all about.”

The players can now put their latest meet all down to good experience and focus on next year’s under-12 qualifier.


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