Three junior Sapphire Coast netball players have completed a year of intensive training in the hopes that they will one day represent NSW in national competitions.
Jessie Hart, Natalie Cooper and Bella Kiely were chosen to represent the Sapphire Coast in the South East Regional Netball Academy (SERNA).
The area of SERNA spans from the border of the Illawarra, down to Eden and inland to Yass. A squad of twelve talented players aged from 13 to 16 participated in the program which was aimed paving the way to turning the young girls into professional athletes.
SERNA head coach Adele-Marie Bullock said she was very impressed with the talent coming out of the Sapphire Coast.
“The three Sapphire Coast girls have shown an incredible amount of determination over the past year and because of this their skills have developed a huge amount,” Ms Bullock said.
Participating in the program has been a big commitment for the local girls who have had to attend two four-hour training sessions a month which in some instances involved a two or three hour drive each way to attend.
These training sessions were on top of the games and training they participated here in the Bega Valley with their given clubs and as part of the Sapphire Coast Netball Association representative teams.
Ms Bullock said that on top of the physical fitness training and netball skills the three girls also participated in education sessions to teach focus, resilience, nutrition “and all the mental skills we would expect from professional or elite athletes”.
“All the players have to demonstrate a commitment to improve, to develop their skills and they have to have the potential to keep going up the state pathways.”
Janet Kiely, the mother of Merimbula player Bella Kiely, said her daughter has had a fantastic time participating in the netball academy and on top of improving drastically, Bella has made some lifelong friends.
SERNA will be holding trials for the 2017 squad in either September or October this year. Any players interested in participating are encouraged to contact their local netball association.
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