National camp offers something for all involved

089A4741Specialist development is the big theme of this week’s 19/U national camp in Canberra.

Not just for the 22 up-and-coming netballers from across Australia that are spending the next five days at netball’s new Centre of Excellence at the AIS, but also for a group of aspiring umpires and coaches involved in the Targeted Coach Program.

For the first two days of the camp, the squad members will be split into shooting, midcourt and defensive groups where they will work with some of the top coaches in Australia finetuning their skills.

Former Australian captain Michelle den Dekker will work with the defenders, current Australian Diamonds coach Lisa Alexander will oversee the midcourters while former Australian goal shooter Sue Hawkins is in charge of the shooters.

That trio will be assisted by two former Australian internationals in Mo’onia Gerrard and Lauren Nourse and current ANZ Championship assistant coach Dan Ryan (Adelaide Thunderbids), who are developing their coaching skills as part of the Netball Australia program.

089A4763Gerrard (defence), Nourse (midcourt) and Ryan (shooting) are all part of this year’s Targeted Coach Program intake.

Netball Australia’s Head of High Performance Carol Byers said it was a fantastic opportunity for both the players and coaches to enhance their development in an elite environment.

“It’s a great opportunity for the specialist coaches. They have the knowledge as an athlete and working alongside expert coaches will assist in their transition to coaching.  Our next generation of athletes will benefit from the expertise of all coaches,” Byers said.

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Alexander will coach one team with Australian 21/U coach Tania Obst in charge of the other. They will be assisted by two state 19/U coaches in Christine Voge (Queensland) and Tasha Nykyforak (Western Australia).

The teams will also have practice matches against ANL sides the NSW Waratahs and Canberra Darters over the weekend.

“This camp is unique in that the athletes get to spend a bit of time developing their specialist skills and then they have an opportunity to put that into practice over three days of match practice,” Byers said.

19/U Australian squad: Toni Anderson (New South Wales), Jessica Anstiss (Western Australia), Lucy Armfield (South Australia), Maddy Balson (Northern Territory), Emily Burgess (South Australia), Mahalia Cassidy (Queensland), Georgia Clayden (ACT), Kate Eddy (Victoria), Samantha Gooden (Northern Territory), Billie Gurr (New South Wales), Hulita Haukinima (Queensland), Cara Koenen (Queensland), Nicole Lendich (Western Australia), Georgia Marshall (New South Wales), Leah Middleton (Queensland), Kristen Oxenford (Queensland), Emma Ryde-Code (Victoria), Kimberley Shepherd (Western Australia), Tanisha Stanton (New South Wales), Alice Teague-Neeld (Victoria), Numi Tupaea (Western Australia), Lauren Yager (New South Wales).