Fight­ing fit squads tough it out at tour­na­ment

Broome Advertiser - - Sport - Ali­cia Perera

North West rep­re­sen­ta­tive net­ball squads showed their fight­ing spirit in the face of tough com­pe­ti­tion at the Re­gional Academy and Cadet Cup in Perth at the week­end.

Two teams — an Academy and Cadet side, each made up of 10 young play­ers from Kar­ratha, Tom Price, Parabur­doo, Hed­land, New­man and Broome — com­peted in the Net­ball WA State com­pe­ti­tion over three days, play­ing teams from across re­gional WA and Perth.

With far less train­ing be­hind them than most teams due to the vast dis­tances of the North West, the girls put in a valiant ef­fort against some highly com­pet­i­tive teams, with the academy side fin­ish­ing ninth out of 10 sides and the cadets com­ing in last of seven in their tough di­vi­sion one draw.

Sev­eral mem­bers of the teams also col­lected in­di­vid­ual awards, in­clud­ing North West Net­ball Academy head coach Te­neal Rus­sell, from Hed­land, who won the coach of the cup award.

Kar­ratha player Jen­nadell Long, 16, who only took up net­ball re­cently, was iden­ti­fied as a player of “raw tal­ent” and 15-year-old academy team vice-cap­tain Aly­cia Bue­naflor, also from Kar­ratha, took home a spirit of the game prize for keep­ing team morale high.

Rus­sell said she was proud of all the play­ers’ ef­forts at such a chal­leng­ing tour­na­ment.

“All the girls man­aged to keep their heads up, held their heads high, had fun, and now they know what it’s like to par­tic­i­pate in a State com­pe­ti­tion,” she said.

The fi­nal North West teams were selected at a re­gional net­ball de­vel­op­ment camp in July, from among a field of more than 70 play­ers orig­i­nally iden­ti­fied at the North West Cham­pi­onships in Hed­land.

North­ern WA’s tyranny of dis­tance meant they had only two train­ing ses­sions be­fore the com­pe­ti­tion, com­pared to about 20 for most other squads.

Pic­ture: Te­neal Rus­sell

The North West Net­ball Academy team.

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