Jets help regional netballers fly towards success
EXCITEMENT levels were high and adrenaline was pumping through their veins as 100 young netballers stepped foot on the same court as their idols.
On Sunday, representatives from the Ipswich Jets netball team took the three-hour trip up the Warrego Highway to Chinchilla for the towns first ever coaching clinic.
The professional netballers demonstrated parts of their own gruelling practice regime while sharing their tips and insights with parents and coaching staff.
"Once you get picked for a team, we have a twelve week pre-season before our actual season," Jets player Shiobhan Shirlaw said.
"From there it's two times a week of on-court training, three times a week gym sessions, plus a game each week."
Going through the exact same clinics themselves, the Jets wanted to drive home what the young Chinchilla netballers could achieve if they are willing to work hard.
"We want them to able to see what level they could achieve if they competitively pursued netball," she said.
"One of the girls in our Sapphire team is an ex Firebird now at the ripe old age of 19."
The teammates also come from regional towns as far as Nanango and Rockhampton and understand the disadvantages of regional sport.
They were filled with passion about providing the same opportunities that metro kids have to kids in rural and regional areas.
"We get to do a lot of stuff with the inner-city teams and that's great, but you can get a little over-saturated with it as well," Shirlaw said.
"You can usually pick a few girls from different age groups who are probably aspiring athletes in a few different fields.
"If we can pinch them for netball, that would be great."
Growing up idolising netball players, Shirlaw said she hoped the visit to Chinchilla could inspire the next generation of professional netballer.s
At previous clinics in Toowoomba the Jets have seen potential in regional areas like Dalby and Goondiwindi and said they were eager to scout out the talent in the southwest.
"We want to make our clinics an annual thing," she said.
"That way we can see the talent that is coming through, as well as try and improve their talents.
"In an ideal scenario, we'd love to see some of these girls here who are 14 or 15 show up to Jets trials in three or four years."