Hi Tara and Congratulations on being the focus of this episode of Spotlight On.
Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
I am 17, I’m currently completing year 12 at Warrnambool College as part of their accelerated learning program. I was born in Port Fairy, and have lived in Terang, Kolora, Wangoom and Warrnambool. I have spent most of my life living on a farm before dad injured his shoulder so we moved into town and I went to Terang College for my primary schooling.
You are one of 5 children, were all of your family sporty?
I’m actually the second oldest, so my brother Harris(15) plays cricket and football, I play netball, my older brother Liam(21) played football when he was younger but doesn’t anymore, my mum never really played sports, but my dad played cricket, football and tennis quite competitively, and still plays and actually works in cricket.
Being part of a big family, are any of your siblings involved in netball as well?
None of my immediate family have played netball before, although Lucy is planning to start NetSetGo next year.
At what age did you begin to really enjoy netball?
I started NetSetGo when I was 6 and have played ever since then and have always enjoyed it, but I think when I got to Under 15s and it got a bit more competitive and I was learning more detailed skills and really working on my game, I enjoyed it just that bit more.
Have you always played with the same club?
I did NetSetGo, Under 13’s and my first year of Under 15’s at Kolora-Noorat, before then moving to North Warrnambool FNC. My first year for north was actually in their U14’s team in the Sunday competition when I was also playing with Kolora-Noorat, before then moving into their U15’s team the next year, and I’ve been there since.
What is your favourite netball position on the court?
I always find this the hardest question!! I love GA and GD as you get to be present up the court and influence the play just that bit more, but I also enjoy playing GS and GK.
What has been your greatest achievement on the netball court?
Making the U17 state team top 50 in 2018, getting asked to fill in a game for the Ballarat Sovereigns in the VNL, the various Western Region and league representative teams I have been a part of, my U14 HFNL league B&F and playing seniors with North Warrnambool.
What does a usual training week look like for you?
Monday- SWAS strength & conditioning program (1 hr)
Tuesday- game of netball (1 hr)
Thursday- Netball training(U17s & seniors) (3 hrs)
Saturday- two games of netball
As well as this, I complete individual strength and conditioning at home, shooting practise and I travel to Melbourne once a month for the Victorian U19 Regional talent academy that I’m in.
Do you have to travel much for your sport?
At this point not really as I’m not playing VNL or in the state team, but as previously mentioned I travel to Melbourne once a month for Academy, as well as Shepparton/Melbourne etc. for various competitions (state titles, association champs).
What do you suggest is a good way for young kids interested in netball to do, to become involved?
Find a club that is welcoming and supportive, start playing for fun at the stadium as it is a great way to build connections and see if you want to pursue the sport, and train like you want to play!
What is your favourite part of being part of a team and being involved in a team environment?
I like playing a sport where you can influence the game but the outcome isn’t reliant on you. I love playing with my friends and building friendships with my teammates, coaches and supporters around the club, and I especially love the support you get from those around you, on and off the court.
Have you ever suffered any major injuries?
I’ve sprained both ankles playing basketball, as well as jarring most of my fingers in basketball and netball, but otherwise I’ve been pretty lucky in terms of injuries.
You have been a member of SWAS for a few years now, and have stayed in the program as an Individual Athlete after completing the Netball Program.
Can you possibly explain the overall benefits that being a SWAS member has given you.
I think having an extra group of people that are constantly backing you in your journey, whilst also providing you with a specialised gym program, giving you an insight into being an elite athlete, sharing your story, providing people to come and talk to you about the different aspects of sport, and always being open for a talk, are just a few of the benefits of joining SWAS and some of the main reasons I chose to stay a part of it after completing the netball program.
What was your favourite part of the SWAS program?
The friendships you make, the bonds you build with your coaches and the s&c sessions.
Thank you so much for your time today!