Glen Innes netballers keep scoring goals

BEATING THE COMPETITION: Annaleese Cameron and Bridgette Beatty in action at the Tenterfield gala day.

BEATING THE COMPETITION: Annaleese Cameron and Bridgette Beatty in action at the Tenterfield gala day.

Glen Innes High School Under 15 years netballers swept the court against rivals from Tenterfield, Inverell and MacIntyre High Schools on Tuesday, March 28 for the district gala day held in Tenterfield.

Rain forced two reschedules of the event and a relocation, with the matches originally to take place at the Glen Innes courts. They, however, are half-way through rebound surfacing and need a week of fine weather before the job can be completed. While Glen Innes had two teams at the competition, the A grade team will now go on to play Peel High School in Tamworth for North West region honours, and hopefully then onto Sydney for the state finals. 

The nine-strong team will be supplemented with three players from B grade to make a good squad, and they’ll need it.

“If we get to Sydney, they will be playing heaps over a couple of days,” coach Julie Fuller said.

Last year the high school team made it to the top 16 at the state finals held in Wollongong, and Mrs Fuller aims to at least match that.

“It’s great experience for the younger ones,” she said.

“We’re getting stronger, but it’s due to a lot of hard work and coaching.”

(From left) Emily Burton, Liz Chard, Eleanor Malone and Ruby Beattie are all NIAS athletes

(From left) Emily Burton, Liz Chard, Eleanor Malone and Ruby Beattie are all NIAS athletes

Three Glen Innes girls Eleanor Malone, Liz Chard and Emily Burton have also made the North West rep team to compete in the Combined High Schools state carnival to be held in Minto at the end of May, with Ruby Beattie in reserve. They will be heading to Tamworth for training sessions, requiring a lot of dedication on their part and that of their parents, but Mrs Fuller said this is the largest contingent ever selected from one high school, and from the New England area. They played in Inverell to make the New England team, with further trials in Armidale for North West region selection.

While the Saturday netball competition doesn’t start until after Easter, the local girls have been in training since January twice a week: game play in Tuesdays and gym training on Thursdays. Mrs Fuller said an early start was necessary given all the rep games coming up.

Former Northern Inland Academy of Sport (NIAS) athlete Eleanor is above the age cut-off for this year’s intake, but Emily, Liz and Ruby have all made NIAS’s division 1 squad. At only 14 years of age Bridgett Beattie has been selected for the division 2 squad, which is a huge achievement given her age, according to Mrs Fuller.

There are academy games to be played in the coming week, at the Central Coast against 11 other academies.

“They’ll even be up against state players,” Mrs Fuller said.

“It’s tough, but it’s good for the girls. A Most Valuable Player is decided by the coach of the opposing team in each match, and the girls really step up to the challenge. It makes them stronger for the local competition.”

Age championships are also coming up at the start of June for older age groups, and at the end of June for younger ones.

With such a busy schedule and local netball steaming ahead, Mrs Fuller said she has the benefit of great support from the parents and a good committee.