Lofty ambitions for Centre of Excellence camp

2015 National Championships 19U - 7 v 8  ACT v Northern TerritoryNetball Australia has lofty ambitions for the long-term potential of a select group of athletes attending a unique specialist camp at the Centre of Excellence in Canberra this week.

The `talls’ program has identified 12 of Australia’s emerging towering talent and 10 of those are heading to the camp where they will get specialist coaching over three days.

The shooters will learn from one of Australia’s leading goal shooters Jenny Borlase while Cathy Fellows, who has coached the past two years in the Australian Netball League and been a national underage selector, will take charge of the defenders.

The athletes attending the camp range in heights from 189cm to 198cm and have represented their states at 19/U and 21/U level.

Borlase played 70 Tests for Australia over a decade and was part of three winning world championship teams – 1991, ’95 and ’99 – and the 1998 Commonwealth Games Gold Medal side.

Netball Australia’s Head of High Performance Andrew Collins said it was a fantastic opportunity for the young players earmarked to attend the camp.

_MCA6632LThe group chosen is Jane Cook, Emma Ryde, Maddy Balson, Samantha Gooden (Victoria), Clare Frost, Ashlen Garrett (Queensland), Annika Lee-Jones, Nicole Lendich (Western Australia), Prudence Ellis (New South Wales), Asha Thurlow (South Australia), Alison Miller (ACT), Isabella McDonald (Northern Territory).

“The talls program is an innovative and new part of our talent identification strategy. We started with a Centre of Excellence camp last year and it was pleasing to see the way a number of those athletes progressed through their state programs,” Collins said.

“We look forward to seeing how this year’s intake embraces the knowledge and expertise they will receive from this high performance environment and to help advance their careers towards one day becoming Diamonds.”

The Centre of Excellence will also send a squad to Tasmania in late July and early August for a series of warm up matches against the Scotland and Wales Netball World Cup SYDNEY 2015 teams and Australian Netball League side the Tassie Spirit.

Former Australian star Nicole Richardson will lead the team with Fellows as her assistant.

“It’s great to have someone of Nicole’s reputation, having represented Australia with distinction at netball and also her Olympic experience with the Australian women’s softball team, as she will provide a great perspective for each athlete,” Collins said.

“Nicole has been involved in our development programs previously and we’re excited to give her this opportunity with the talented group of young athletes.”

The team to contest the series, being played in Launceston and Hobart, will be named next month with the Centre of Excellence to face Wales on 30 July, Tassie Spirit (August 1) and Scotland (August 2).