For the third year Dani Johnson has been selected as the SAASTA Aboriginal Netball Academy Head Coach.
Dani’s coaching CV includes seasons as the Head Coach of the Jaguars and Wood Panthers’ Premier League Reserves teams and current-Assistant Coach for the Wood Panthers’ League team.
As the Academy’s Head Coach, Dani will run the on-court component of the SAASTA program. Here’s what said about her enjoyment of the role and what’s planned for 2019.
What do you most relish about the role?
Bringing a group of young ladies, coaches and teachers together through netball. Seeing these young netballers grow in skill level, understand what makes a team, but mostly everyone gaining confidence. I love coming out each week to teach something new and to participate with the girls.
How has the role influenced your life?
Seeing how talented and passionate these athletes are about their netball makes me want to ensure and help with their pathways in netball. Also, I have gained invaluable knowledge on their culture, which hopefully has made me a better coach and person.
Why does the SAASTA program play an important role in the lives of the students?
It allows these girls to achieve and to gain their confidence “to have a go” within a netball and school environment and shows different ways of helping the girls to gain skills and tools to accomplish whatever they set out to do in life.
Can you name your key highlight of the program for 2018?
As a group we had several. I can’t split two key highlights, as these had two very different effects on the girls and myself. Firstly, winning the Indigenous round exhibition game before the Adelaide Thunderbirds match at the Entertainment Centre, and secondly our trip to Melbourne to learn about Aboriginal cultures, seeing how different schools run their netball programs and how an SSN team, in a different state, function and support their community.
Is there anything new you are looking to introduce to the program in 2019?
We are looking at ways of helping the girls to understand the processes and feeling confident to achieve and move along the Netball SA pathway, for example from the U17 and U19 state teams, to Premier League and then higher.