Young gun South Australian netballers are proving themselves a power on the national stage, now current champions in all national underage divisions.
The School Sports Australia national championships held last month saw South Australia’s U15 state team take the gold medal on 26 July in the Sunshine Coast. The win means South Australia now hold the championship title in U12, U15, 17U and 19U.
The 17U and 19Us state teams won gold earlier this year in April in Brisbane and the U12 won gold in September 2018 in Darwin.
The 17U and 19U state teams are pathway programs administered, funded and run by Netball SA. While the U12 and U15 state teams are organised by School Sports Australia. There is, however, significant crossover of personnel such as players and coaches, with most also involved in Netball SA affiliated teams and competitions in the state’s Premier League and Adelaide Metropolitan Netball Division.
Amanda Shattock, the U15 head coach who helped lead the team to victory, says she and the team are thrilled to have gotten the gold for the state.
“I’m super proud of the girls. I was extremely happy for all 12 players, they worked so hard to finish the week undefeated and come home with the gold,” said Amanda.
With their sights set on the gold, Amanda says the team have been working hard in preparation for the championships.
“Our focus leading into Queensland was about a strong twelve and believing in the process. We win gold because of 12 not seven.”
A seasoned coach, Amanda is also the 19U assistant coach this year and Matrics Netball Club head coach in the Reserves Division of the Netball SA Premier League.
“Being involved in the 17U and 19U environment has enabled me to prepare this group of athletes coming through the U15 pathway. My standards and expectations of the girls is definitely greater because I know how challenging the next level is and to ensure the athletes coming through are exposed to these high performance behaviours.”
Amanda says helping them to reach their full potential motivates her to coach.
“Seeing them grow and move through the pathways is definitely rewarding. Current research shows that many girls drop out of sport from about the age of 14. Seeing enthusiasm and passion in young girls motivates me to help change these statistics. Anything I can do to continue to encourage girls to play sport and to stay in sport is very important to me.”
Netball SA CEO, Bronwyn Klei, is elated by the achievements of young South Australian netballers – players and coaches!
“Underage representative teams are a key achievement on the development pathway for players who progress to Suncorp Super Netball level, so it is very exciting for South Australia to be consistently producing strong performances at national tournaments,” said Bronwyn.
Bronwyn says the results are a direction reflection of the quality of focused development within our grassroots programs.
“Our interstate counterparts have much bigger talent pools by sheer number. South Australia’s results on the national stage are a credit to the calibre of coaches, Pathway and Academy Programs, and athletes playing and enjoying the sport in our state.”
“The U12 and U15 age groups are school competitions and their development would be a combination of the school environment and also our affiliated clubs and associations.”
“Some of the U15 players would have had some involvement in the Netball SA Academy Program also which is a huge factor in the development of players progressing to the 17U and 19U state teams. More recently all players in these teams have come through an Academy Program where they receive development through the national program – Develop a Diamond Academy Program.”
“Elite players in the Suncorp Super Netball league aren’t produced overnight; they are nurtured through underage pathways and it is really pleasing to see that our development programs in South Australia are on the right track.”
To learn more about Netball SA’s coaching programs click here.