National camp new territory for Saville

17 & Under Australian Netball TitlesBeing chosen to attend a national camp is a thrill for any young athlete and Northern Territory netballer Tabatha Saville is no exception.

Saville is one of 36 of Australia’s brightest young talents at Netball Australia’s new Centre of Excellence in Canberra this week as part of the national 17/U Development camp.

The 16-year-old from Alice Springs was chosen in the squad after last month’s national netball championships in Melbourne and is one of two NT players taking part in the four-day camp. The other is Darwin-based Isabella McDonald.

Netball Australia’s National Pathway Manager Stacey West will oversee the camp with Australian Diamonds coach Lisa Alexander also an interested on-looker.

Saville said her national squad selection came as a surprise.

“Just being at the national championships is an achievement in itself, but getting into the squad is a bonus. I wasn’t really expecting it,” Saville said.

“It was a huge buzz with everyone congratulating me (after the announcement).”

Highlighting her talent, Saville first represented the NT at 17/U level as a 13-year-old. The young centre said her national championship experience has been a great eye opener.

17 & Under Australian Netball Titles“In my first year I didn’t really get psyched out but in my second year it just hit me `these girls are seriously good’,” Saville said.

“They brought a whole new level and standard (to what I was used to) and it opened my eyes to the pathway that netball could bring.”

Saville said the success of the NT’s 19/U side at this year’s national titles – where it won three matches including an historic win over New South Wales – was also encouraging for the development of netball in the Top End.

“What (coach) Deb Gray did with that squad was a huge inspiration to the rest of us,” Saville said.

“The fact that they could come away with wins against teams like NSW was just amazing and watching the game, I’m sure the rest of the girls were pretty excited as well.”

Saville is a talented sportswoman, having been chosen in Cricket Australia’s Under 18 Female Talent Camp Squad last year.   

17/U Australian squad: Casey Adamson (Victoria), Kiera Austin (New South Wales), Elizabeth Birch (Victoria), Natalie Bright (Western Australia), Jane Cook (Victoria), Mardi Cunningham (Victoria), Prudence Ellis (New South Wales), Bryah Gafa (Queensland), Sophie Garbin (Western Australia), Mandy Hanegraaf (Victoria), Mia Henderson (Queensland), Charlee Hodges (South Australia), Tayla Honey (Victoria), Kobe Howard (Queensland), Binnian Hunt (Queensland), Sophie Immonen (ACT), Kristen Kessler (New South Wales), Sharni Lambden (Victoria), Abigail Latu-Meafou (Queensland), Dana Lester (Tasmania), Isabella McDonald (Northern Territory), Alison Miller (ACT), Shelby Miller (Tasmania), Lenora Misa (Queensland), Lauren Moore (New South Wales), Jacqueline Newton (Victoria), Claire O’Brien (New South Wales), Amy Parmenter (New South Wales), Hannah Petty (South Australia), Cassandra Radford (New South Wales), Sarah Raper (South Australia), Stephanie Sarro (South Australia), Tabatha Saville (Northern Territory), Annabella Sorby (Queensland), Nicole Sulley-Beales (South Australia), Phoebe Wilcox (Western Australia).