Life & Style Weekend - - LIGHTNING - WORDS: AN­NIE CAUGHEY

While half of the team is overseas bat­tling it out for the 2019 Net­ball World Cup ti­tle, things over at camp Light­ning don’t seem to be slow­ing down.

I speak with Maddy Mcauliffe fresh off the ropes course at the Big Pineap­ple Tree­top Chal­lenge, where her and fel­low team­mate Laura Scherian just took on the black run.

“Shezzy and I tried to race each other, I’m ac­tu­ally ex­hausted,” Maddy said.

“I think one of the guys said it was the hard­est course in Aus­tralia. It was very dif­fi­cult, you def­i­nitely have to be strong and have a lot of up­per body strength.”

While you’re used to see­ing Maddy front and cen­tre on the net­ball court, out­side of the sport­ing arena she’s in the back row, work­ing hard as the quiet achiever.

The 24-year-old has just com­pleted a dou­ble de­gree, set to grad­u­ate with a Bach­e­lor of Busi­ness and Bach­e­lor of Law (Hon­ours) in just a few short weeks.

If that’s not enough, the Light­ning mid­courter has also re­cently pur­chased her very own home in Ma­roochy­dore, talk about

kick­ing goals or should I say, shoot­ing goals.

Maddy was part of the in­au­gu­ral

Sun­shine Coast Light­ning team and since day one, she has brought this work ethic and dili­gence to her re­spon­si­bil­i­ties within the club. Each year, the cen­tre and wing de­fence player con­tin­ues to rev­o­lu­tionise her game, con­stantly push­ing the bound­aries and in­spir­ing those around her.

As a so­cial but­ter­fly among the club, Maddy spends a lot of her down­time hang­ing out with fel­low team­mates on post-train­ing brunches, picnics or at the beach.

“I love rid­ing my bike to go get cof­fee or to meet up with the girls. Now that

I’ve fin­ished uni and don’t have to study any­more, I’ve been rid­ing my bike to Mooloolaba Beach and sit­ting there and read­ing my book,” Maddy said.

“We’ve been do­ing a lot of Sun­day picnics at Alexan­dra Head­land Hill. It’s re­ally beau­ti­ful be­cause the sun sets over the hill and we can watch it go down. It’s just a re­ally nice way to start the week.”

In­spired to make the most of her beach­side life­style, Maddy is of­ten out ex­plor­ing the re­gion’s nat­u­ral en­vi­ron­ment, whether that be up in the hin­ter­land in search of wa­ter­falls or down on the sea­side beach hop­ping. Now set­tling into her third sea­son play­ing for Light­ing, Maddy said there’s no place she’d rather be.

“I’ve bought a house up here, so I’m well and truly a Sun­shine Coaster now,”

Maddy said.

“My boyfriend has just moved up too which is re­ally nice, it makes it feel even more like home.”

Work­ing a part-time job in Com­pli­ance and Risk Man­age­ment at the Univer­sity of the Sun­shine Coast, hav­ing stud­ied her­self and also train­ing daily at the USC Sta­dium, Maddy spends a lot of time on cam­pus.

How­ever, the routine never be­comes mun­dane be­cause the sup­port­ive cul­ture at the Light­ning makes rock­ing up each day to­tally worth it.

“What’s re­ally nice at Light­ning is the whole club from play­ers to com­mer­cial and per­for­mance coach­ing al­ways get along. We are closer than most clubs as an or­gan­i­sa­tion, so for us, it re­ally is like a fam­ily,” Maddy said.

“Laura has come back from New Zealand,

Phumza and Peace have moved over from an­other coun­try, Anni has moved over from Perth which may as well be an­other coun­try. So, you do be­come each other’s fam­ily away from home.

“When you’ve got that friend­ship and that re­spect off court it just en­ables you to com­mu­ni­cate bet­ter on court. We can also be more hon­est with our feed­back be­cause we all know each other on a deeper level.”

STEPH wood, Maddy MCAULIFFE, cara KOE­NEN and karla MOSTERT.

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