I wouldn’t say I was a stand­out ... I’ve worked hard to be where I am to­day

The Daily Telegraph (Sydney) - Best Weekend - - FRONT PAGE -

ot­shot net­ball player Jamie-Lee Price en­joyed one of the great­est ground­ings for a sport­ing ca­reer be­fore she was even old enough to re­alise it.

As a six-year-old pick­ing up her first net­ball, she was al­ready well versed in the skills that go be­yond the court, the ring or her dex­ter­ity — in team­work, play­ing through dis­ap­point­ment and keep­ing a sharp fo­cus — hav­ing soaked them up from the stands of Bel­more Oval while cheer­ing on her dad Steve Price with the Can­ter­bury Bull­dogs.

“It was re­ally cool watch­ing my dad play while we were grow­ing up. League is a very pro­fes­sional game and watch­ing him and the things he did prep­ping for games and how he dealt with the dis­ap­point­ments, and re­silience and his lead­er­ship skills, are things I’ve learnt from him,” she tells BW Mag­a­zine.

“Now he’s re­tired, he just wants the best for me. He says a lot — he loves to have a chat, my dad! He’s told me not to stress about things, to not over-think it, to play games and en­joy it while you can. He says it hap­pens so quickly, be­fore you know it, you’re re­tired, so to make the most of op­por­tu­ni­ties.”

For his part, Price se­nior has re­paid the de­vo­tion, fly­ing home from New Zealand last year to catch ev­ery one of her net­ball home games with the Giants, one of two NSW teams in the Na­tional Net­ball League.

The pair make for quite the sport­ing fam­ily. Steve en­joyed two premier­ship wins with the Bull­dogs (1995 and 2004) be­fore mov­ing to NZ to play for the War­riors, re­tir­ing in 2010 at the age of 36.

And while he was mak­ing yards and land­ing tries, his daugh­ter was carv­ing out her own suc­cesses, play­ing her first cham­pi­onship for NZ in her fi­nal year of high school in 2013.

Now 22, she’s since made the jump across the Tas­man and is itch­ing to kick off her sec­ond sea­son with the Giants to­mor­row af­ter a six month pre-sea­son. But she’s quick to point out that it hasn’t been an in­stantly made ca­reer, say­ing she had some early set­backs, but kept her fo­cus on her love of the game un­til things were back on track.

“Grow­ing up I didn’t al­ways make the top teams, I had a few dis­ap­point­ments, but that’s sport. It’s a good thing for some peo­ple. It makes you train harder, want it more. I wouldn’t say I was a stand­out player. I’ve worked hard to be where I am to­day.”

And while the de­ci­sion to fol­low her NZ Waikato-Bay of Plenty Magic coach Julie Fitzger­ald to Syd­ney was dif­fi­cult at the time, it’s pay­ing off for Price. She was last year part of the Aus­tralian Di­a­monds na­tional un­der 21s team in the World Youth Cup in Botswana, play­ing in each of their games and be­ing named player of the tour­na­ment.

“I grew up in NZ and got my start over there and I got to play in a few un­der 21s tour­na­ments be­fore mov­ing to Aus­tralia. If it wasn’t for NZ, I wouldn’t be where I am to­day, I’m grate­ful for what it gave me in terms of learn­ing and de­vel­op­ment,” she says. “But now I look back, I don’t re­gret it at all. I’m play­ing against the best play­ers in the world week in, week out and I’m close to my fam­ily (now based on the Sunshine Coast).

“And it’s def­i­nitely cool play­ing for the Giants. It was exciting that it was start­ing as a new club last year. It’s been some­thing spe­cial to start from scratch.”

Out­side of net­ball she’s study­ing ng to be­come a per­sonal trainer, but her r goals are firmly on a strong sport­ing fu­ture. .

“My ul­ti­mate goal is to make the he Di­a­monds. Last year in the un­der 21s world cup I got a taste of the Aus­tralian en­vi­ron­ment and it was ob­vi­ously a step for­ward to­wards the Di­a­monds. I’d love to play in a world cup and Com­mon­wealth Games. That would be a dream come true.” JAMIE-LEE PRICE AND THE GIANTS TAKE ON SUNSHINE COAST LIGHT­NING AT QUDOS BANK ARENA TO­MOR­ROW. TICK­ETS VIA TICKETEK Jamie-Lee with dad Steve, and (right) Bull­dogs star Steve with An­drew Ryan af­ter de­feat­ing the Roost­ers in the 2004 NRL grand fi­nal. Jamie-Lee Price prac­tis­ing for the Giants. Pic­ture: Hill­yardPhilPhil Hill­yard

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