It is wonderful to be back on tour with the Diamonds.
We started the week at Netball Australia’s Centre of Excellence in Canberra with the entire squad, along with invitee Kate Shimmin. It was great to have everyone together, due to our decentralized program, we don’t have many opportunities to do so.
After a busy two days of training and performance analysis at the Australian Institute of Sport, the Constellation Cup team and Diamonds staff jumped on a bus down the highway to Sydney. Surrounded by teammates, and a bit of snoring, the three-hour trip was over before we knew it.
This afternoon we had the pleasure of attending the Female Champions of Change Luncheon in Sydney. The room was buzzing with positivity and in depth discussions between guests and our athletes. It provided a glimpse into the inner sanctum of our Diamonds, whilst also highlighting what accomplished young women they are off the court.
Returning to Sydney brings strong emotions. The last time we were here, we lifted the Netball World Cup in front of our home crowd. It always has an added sense of pressure… but as we know Diamonds are made under pressure.
We are determined to start our Constellation Cup campaign strong when we face the Ferns on Sunday. The competition with the Silver Ferns pushes us continuously. The rivalry between the Diamonds and the Silver Ferns is second to none. Every contest is closely fought and every interaction is intense.
Test two of the Constellation Cup will see us travel across the Bass Strait to Launceston, for the first time in 30 years. We cannot wait to meet our fans, so don’t forget to stay after the game for an autograph.
The New Zealand leg of our Tour will see the final two Test matches played in Auckland and Invercargill. Crossing the ditch always brings its challenges, but we will harness the energy of our fans and do them proud.
Finally, my thoughts and prayers are with the family of Rebecca Wilson. She was a trailblazer for female sports journalists and broke through the mould of the sporting world. Vale Rebecca.