New South Wales teenager Tanisha Stanton is proving she’s just as talented off the netball court as she is on it.
Stanton, a member of the Australian 19/U squad, has landed a co-hosting gig on a new grassroots sports show Barefoot Sunday that goes to air on NITV from this Sunday.
The weekly, two-hour program will focus entirely on regional and remote indigenous communities and will combine on-field action and interviews with stories and documentaries.
Stanton will host the series alongside actor Luke Carroll. Adding to the netball flavor of the show, West Coast Fever defender Josie Janz will headline a team of regional reporters Australia-wide sharing stories from some of the smallest and remote communities.
The 17-year-old is excited for the show’s premiere and hopes it can lead to greater opportunities for those they profile.
“We’ve been talking to a great cross section of amazing people on the show who have done some great things,” Stanton said.
“It’s been awesome working with Luke. He’s a great mentor for me and he’s guided me in the right direction. He’s been really helpful and he’s just a great person.
“It means a lot that I got this opportunity.”
Stanton hopes that sharing stories of successful indigenous athletes will inspire the next generation of sports stars to become the next Cathy Freeman, Johnathan Thurston, Adam Goodes or Josie Janz.
“People who have come from not much and made something of themselves; people who had a dream and chased it; we want to tell those stories to the young kids,” she said.
“If you want something bad enough, work hard and believe in yourself, anything is possible.”
Stanton is juggling her studies with filming episodes for the program. Next week, after she completes her first HSC exam on October 14, she’s flying to some locations in remote Western Australia to film segments for the show.
“I can’t wait to get out there and experience it,” she said.
She is currently completing her Year 12 at Newcastle’s Hunter Sports High and played for the New South Blues in this year’s Australian Netball League.
Next year she will move to Sydney to complete her certificates III and IV in fitness through the NSW Institute of Sport while looking to further her netball career.
“My long-term goal is definitely to play for Australia.”
“For now I’ve got New South Wales 19s trials coming up in November, so I’m hoping to make that team again and from that make the Aussie 19s squad again.
“Hopefully I can work my way up to get an ANZ (Championship) contract. I’ve had some really good feedback from my coaches and I’m open to that feedback because I want to get the best out of myself.”
NITV Sport executive producer Mark Ella is excited about what influence Barefoot Sunday can have.
“Sport plays such an important role in indigenous communities,” he said. “But sadly, isolation can inhibit access to structured competition.
“We hope that the grass roots focus of Barefoot Sunday will not only service the sporting passion of these regional and remote communities but that it can also promote conversation on the social and cultural contest around the lives of our sports people.”
Photos: Credit Joseph Mayers
Barefoot Sunday premieres on Sunday, October 13 at 3.30pm on NITV (Channel 34 on free-to-air and Channel 180 on Foxtel).