In a first for the SAASTA Aboriginal Netball Academy (ANA), students from the class of 2018 travelled to Scotland in November. A once in a life-time experience provided the ANA athletes with not only an opportunity to experience Scottish culture, but to share their own stories with local school children and communities. To top it off the athletes connected with one of Australia’s top Indigenous netballers, ex-Queensland Firebird Beryl Friday in London.
Meeting Beryl Friday
It was a wonderful experience for both the ANA athletes and Friday to meet one another. Friday is currently playing for Bath University in the Vitality Superleague and loved the opportunity to connect with aspiring Indigenous netballers. Friday spoke with the athletes about her journey to professional netball and was a source of inspiration both on a netball level and personal level.
Meeting the locals
A group of 10 students from the 2018 ANA were chosen to take the 10-day tour to Scotland, which included competing in three ‘friendlies’ between local Scottish teams, West Edinburgh (U/17 Scottish Cup winners), Wirral Girls School and Altrincham Grammar. The students also visited local primary schools where they ran netball-based activities and taught and performed a traditional Torres Strait Islander dance led by ANA athlete, Waniki.
Another highlight of the tour was the visit to Echo Arena – that will host the upcoming 2019 Netball World Cup – to watch international matches between England, Uganda and Scotland as part of a tri-nations series.
Fiona Fowler, a SAASTA teacher and former Adelaide Thunderbird, is a member of the Scottish Thistles, and gained the ANA athletes access to a Thistles training session and a Q&A with Scottish player, Ella Gibbons.
The Scotland tour proved to be a successful tour for ANA, not only inspiring the athlete’s netball futures, but also enabling them to experience other cultures through the power of our sport.