Tri­als test girls’ skills, speed

Young­sters com­pete for spots in pri­mary rep teams

Central and North Burnett Times - - BURNETT SPORT -

QUICK re­flexes, fast foot­work and com­mu­ni­ca­tion are key skills on the net­ball court.

The pri­mary schools’ North Bur­nett se­lec­tion tri­als held this week brought to­gether first timers and old hands.

Ainsley Bayn­tun, 11, has been play­ing the sport for about four years and show­ing steady im­prove­ment.

She’s pro­gressed from be­ing named Gayn­dah ju­nior net­ball’s 2014 most valu­able player and play­ers’ player to be­ing the only Gayn­dah rep­re­sen­ta­tive on this year’s North Bur­nett pri­mary schools team.

“I like net­ball be­cause you meet peo­ple there and they’re nice and friendly,” Ainsley said.

“It’s my sport that I like play­ing.”

A keen touch player and sprint run­ner, she finds not step­ping with the ball easy, but “try­ing to get in front of peo­ple” can be hard.

Ainsley trains three times a week and favours ba­nanas for an en­ergy boost be­fore a game or run.

She capped off this week with plac­ing sec­ond in her age group at the Gayn­dah cross-coun­try tri­als.

Court­ney Bryant has also en­joyed the team sport for about four years.

Her favourite po­si­tions are cen­tre and goal attack.

“In cen­tre you get the ball a lot and as GA you get to shoot,” Court­ney ex­plained.

“I read an op­po­nent’s moves through shad­ow­ing, but this can be dif­fi­cult – par­tic­u­larly against taller play­ers.”

Monto high jumper Claire Goody said quick re­flexes were needed for the game and her favourite on-court po­si­tion was goal attack.

“The hard­est thing to learn is not step­ping and not bounc­ing,” Claire said.

“The eas­i­est thing is throw­ing the ball to other play­ers.”

Miriam Shep­herd is an all-rounder when it comes to foot­work.

BUD­DING DI­A­MONDS: Ainsley Bayn­tun (cen­tre) with Miriam Shep­herd (right) at the North Bur­nett net­ball tri­als.

TRI­ALS: Miriam Shep­herd leaps for the ball, shad­owed by Ainsley Bayn­tun at the North Bur­nett net­ball tri­als.

The Gayn­dah sportswoman has a pas­sion for both long dis­tance and sprint events and was giv­ing net­ball a go for the first time this year.

“I’m learn­ing how to get in front and get the ball (and) I like mov­ing around the court as well,” Miriam said.

She had yet to de­cide on a favourite po­si­tion, but ap­pre­ci­ated the skills re­quired for wing de­fence, wing attack and cen­tre.

PHOTO: SHIRLEY WAY

PHOTO: SHIRLEY WAY

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