Netball called Elsma
ELSMA Merillo played several sports as an underage athlete, with a fair amount of success.
There were state titles in both swimming and tennis, but in the end there was one path she seemed destined to follow.
“I think netball actually chose me,” she said.
“As an under-age sportsperson in WA I did everything, but when you get chosen in the state open netball team at age 16 and Australian team the same year, I think it sort of says ‘pursue this’.”
It was 1965 when the skilful goal shooter earned her first Australian call-up, although due to her age it was two years before she could pull on the national colours.
It began an incredible playing, coaching and administrative career where she starred on the international stage, led WA to its last open National Championship in 1974, made WA Sports Star Awards’ service to sport nominees (May Campbell Medal) This award recognises the contribution made by an individual to their sport or sporting organisation through their long and outstanding service: Anne Stingemore (Floreat), athletics. John Davies (Trigg), football. Elsma Merillo (Applecross), netball.
a comeback to captain WA to third at the ’79 championships, was a driving force behind the development of the State Netball League in 1989, and coached
the Australian B side in 1994.
These days Mrs Merillo helps keep the sport’s history and heritage alive from her position on Netball WA’s Awards and
She has been announced as a finalist for February’s WA Sports Star Awards, in the service to sport category.
Elsma Merillo is a finalist in the WA Sports Star Awards, announced at Optus Stadium on February 8.