Shoot­ing to be in NZSS

Kapi-Mana News - - SPORT - By KRIS DANDO

Whitney Souness eats and sleeps net­ball, and she shows no sign of let­ting up.

The Els­don 17- year- old Welling­ton rep turned out for her St Mary’s se­nior A side, a Cook Strait se­lec­tion team, her North­ern United club and was part of Net­ball Welling­ton’s high per­for­mance pro­gramme this year.

So while you might think the sum­mer is a time to con­sider a rest – or even an­other sport – that’s not the case.

‘‘We have tri­als for the New Zealand Sec­ondary Schools ( NZSS) team in De­cem­ber, and that’s a big goal for me,’’ Whitney says.

‘‘I’d love to be in that squad for my fi­nal year [at school].’’

The Mun­gavin net­ball courts hold good mem­o­ries for Whitney: It is where she learnt the game with club­mates and fam­ily.

She tries to turn out for her Norths club when pos­si­ble, as long as it doesn’t clash with rep com­mit­ments.

Whitney started out as a shooter but be­lieves her fu­ture lies in the mid­court.

‘‘I’m not tall enough to stay in the goal circle, so I think a po­si­tion like wing at­tack would suit me.’’

At the height of the net­ball sea­son, Whitney is ei­ther play­ing or train­ing ev­ery day ex­cept Fri­day. It’s a hec­tic sched­ule, with school­work a pri­or­ity, but she is com­fort­able in achiev­ing a bal­ance.

‘‘You just get used to be­ing so busy. I have to give up a few lunchtimes to catch up. My Mum helps me be or­gan­ised and my whole fam­ily is very sup­port­ive.’’

Her ul­ti­mate goal is to one day turn out for the Sil­ver Ferns, but she knows there are plenty of steps be­fore that.

Mak­ing NZSS, con­tin­u­ing in the high per­for­mance pro­gramme and, even­tu­ally, push­ing for Welling­ton and Pulse se­lec­tion are the medium-term aims.

Her St Mary’s team came third at a Lower North Is­land tour­na­ment this year, and seventh at na­tion­als in Ti­maru. And Whitney would love to im­prove on those re­sults in 2013.

‘‘I just en­joy the game. It’s some­thing I’ve done since I was young and I want to take it as far as I can.’’

Photo: KRIS DANDO

Ris­ing star: Porirua net­baller Whitney Souness took out the emerg­ing player award at the re­cent Welling­ton prize­giv­ing, to cap off an out­stand­ing sea­son.

Photo: SUP­PLIED

Mid­court magic: Whitney Souness – here play­ing for a Welling­ton se­lec­tion team in June – cites Sil­ver Fern Laura Lang­man as an in­spi­ra­tion, with Lang­man’s speed and nous

some­thing to as­pire to.

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