It has been a big week in netball with the announcement of the Australian 21 and Under Team for the World Youth Cup in Botswana this July.
Since the day it was announced that we would be heading to Botswana for the 2017 World Youth Cup, it has been long journey for our high performance staff and head coach Tania Obst.
The team is extremely strong on talent and potential to represent the Diamonds in the near future. It is a highly versatile team that will have to adapt to the playing conditions in a tournament, and in Botswana.
There were tough selection decisions to make, this is always a difficult process and, unfortunately, some fine netball athletes have missed selection at this time.
However, the future is bright with the instigation of the Suncorp Super Netball allowing the opportunities to be opened up for our young talent.
We wish head coach Tania, assistant coach Michelle Wilkins, the athletes and support staff all the very best in July in Botswana and know that you will all represent your country with distinction.
It is also with much pleasure that we have announced our first ever Indigenous High Performance Camp will take place also in July at the AIS in Canberra at our Netball Centre of Excellence.
This is a magnificent initiative that has been worked on for many years. Thank you to Julia Symons for her work to get to this point and also our Reconciliation Action Plan Working Group and especially Melina Saunders and Marcia Ella-Duncan for being driving forces behind the camp.
I have now completed all eight SSN club national coach visits around our big country, and have seen first-hand the commitment and passion of all our athletes, coaches and support staff.
We are so fortunate to have such expertise in all our clubs that is the strength behind our High Performance DTE system.
All clubs are gearing up for their final matches and each game has an interesting outcome in terms of ladder position and athletes’ performances.
The unpredictability of this season has been immense and could not have been scripted any better.
The very pressing concern for the national selectors Michelle Wilkins, Annie Sargeant and myself at present is how to fit so many fine netball athletes into the Commonwealth Games Squad to be announced on Tuesday 27th June.
All SSN matches have been viewed and performances have been assessed by the selectors and we have regular meetings to catch up regarding our observations.
The other very important point for our netball fans to know is that past international performances on tour, in tests and in the Diamonds training environment are also taken into consideration for selection.
It is a very rigorous and thorough process which it must be for such an important benchmark event.
Watch this space…..