Team Girls is dedicated to fostering and promoting girls’ participation in sport. It’s about girls supporting girls, building up their confidence, and knowing they’re stronger when they stand together – on and off the court.
We’ve teamed up with Fox Sports to showcase a selection of stars as they reflect on the importance of the people who supported them on their netball journey, from families through to current teammates.
In Their Corner: Kelsey Browne
Kelsey Browne: So when I started netball probably my biggest role model was my big sister I think my first season um I just was a ring in for her netball team I didn't touch the ball for the whole first season but absolutely fell in love with the game. Obviously my parents who spent a lot of time driving me here there and everywhere, we're from Geelong so we'd make the trip up to Melbourne a lot of times and they sacrificed a lot so they were my biggest role models and probably who I play for now.
I’ve learned so much from netball and I think sport has been such an integral part of shaping who I am today. I think netball teaches you how to work with others how to be a part of a team. It teaches you commitment, how to set a goal and chase after it. It teaches you how to be resilient through injuries, setbacks if you miss out on a team and I think all of those things that you gather along the way really shape you and start to create your personality a little bit as you get older. I wouldn't change anything in the world I absolutely love how I’ve grown up with netball and I think it's such an amazing sport to be involved in.
I adore my teammates I think we have such a special bond we spend upwards of 30 hours together a week and then leave the club and spend as much time outside of that they become your sisters they become the people that you call when you're crying or I’m getting emotional now but they, they become your entire family and they know the ins and outs of you they know what makes you tick what drives you and I think that bond is really special and when it translates onto court I think it's just magic, but yeah, I couldn't live without my teammates and um I’ve got friends for life for sure from netball
In Their Corner: Helen Housby
Helen Housby: My biggest role model’s definitely my Mum.
Growing up, she used to drive me up and down the motorway back in England, a couple of hours round trip three or four times a week, we were getting back after midnight because we used to train super late, and she sacrificed so much for me in those early years, and I definitely would not be here without her, and it's so nice to be able to reward her a little bit and she's came out to Australia and watch me play and came to the Commonwealth Games. And yeah, it's just really special to have her on this journey. And I definitely know wouldn't be doing it without her.
Playing sport is probably the biggest thing that shapes me as a person. Growing up, I was always the sporty kid at school I wanted to do every single sport. I think it just makes you a very well rounded individual. And you know, some of my best friends, I met on the sports team. So you learn so many skills, teamwork, and you know, being persistent and courageous. Sport is for everybody. And I think you can get something out of it. No matter what you do. If it's just going for a walk everyday or if it's playing professional sport, there is something in it for everybody.
My teammates, I probably cost them more like family, especially for the girls, myself and Sam on our team that come not from Australia. We kind of have to treat each other like sisters. We spent so much time together off the court that if you don't have a good relationship, it can quite quickly unravel on the court. So I feel very, very lucky to be part of the Swifts and to have the girls around me that I do. They're incredible girls and the people that I would want to be friends with even if I hadn't met them through netball so the Swifts do a really good job of making it feel like home away from home and yeah, it makes it so much easier when you hit the court.
In Their Corner: Steph Wood
Steph Wood: A role model of mine was her name's Melissa Passion she was actually my boss at the time and I wanted to quit netball and she had a really hard conversation with me and she was the first one, she probably doesn't even know this that she is one of my role models and it's someone that I really looked up to and she did a lot of sacrificing we used to do a lot of conditioning together and I definitely credit her for me being in this position that I currently am playing in the Suncorp Super Netball
Playing sport has taught me a lot. I was a shy kid I have red hair and I’m freckly so probably was a little bit bullied when I was younger but sport was my outlet and it brought me a lot of confidence and now it gives me time management and there's a lot of skills that you learnt that you when you can kind of step back you actually go oh I’ve learnt this with it and I definitely credit I would not be the person I am today if I hadn't found the love for netball when I was nine years old.
My teammates are very very important you can talk to your family your friends about how you're feeling but the people who actually understand it the most are your teammates, so they understand if you're feeling down, they've probably felt that same feeling so they're very important and they're the people I lean on in those moments.
In Their Corner: Gabi Simpson
Gabi Simpson: My role models growing up firstly, were my parents, they are pretty incredible people, they spend their time working in the intellectual disability sector, so constantly trying to make other people's lives better, and that for me, has really shaped who I am. From a netball perspective, firstly, probably a lady called Danielle Bowyer, who was in my state league team. She took me under her wing when I was 16 and she was mid 20s and showed me what it means to be in a team sport to help lift the people around you, but also what it is to live as an adult, so very helpful.
Sport has helped me grow as a person heaps, I think, in a short period of time in a sporting career, you have amazing highs, and you have some pretty solid lows. And I think it teaches you lots of mental lessons of how to deal with the little things that come along in your life and how to make sure that you don't put all your eggs in one basket, how to find the lessons in the things that do unfold for you, and it's pretty special to be able to learn that in a short space of 10 years as a netballer.
My teammates are incredibly important in my support network when I'm dealing with the highs and lows that come with netball and in life in general. It's something special when you're in a team, you are such different people but you're forced to be together, and it brings this sense of commitment to each other their support. And that's unwavering because together you're working together to try and achieve something bigger. So they've played a really big role in in my life
In Their Corner: Verity Simmons
Verity Simmons: My role model was definitely my Mum a gun netball player, was MVP in our little hometown of Grafton but killed every game which is a freak of a netball player still kills it on the court now and she made huge sacrifices for me. I travelled from Grafton into Sydney every weekend for three years maybe which is about a 10-hour trip so 10 hours down 10 hours back every Friday getting back either Sunday or Monday. I was missing school yeah she was amazing and you know I took her away from my sisters as well every single weekend and you know she never complained and just got on with it.
So I'm very lucky I rely on my teammates heavily they are they're the most important girls in my life at the moment you know we're a little family we've got here we do everything together we see each other every day train eat even sleep we're yeah we're a tight little unit and you know i think you get along with your teammates off the court you've got a really strong bond on the court so I think that's crucial for us.
Sport has taught me everything I know and it is everything I know um I’ve just thrown myself 100 into sport it's opened up so many doors I’ve met some incredible people have got some amazing friends and I think we'll continue this journey you know long after my years of playing netball in some kind of sporting role I love live and breathe it yeah it's everything to me
In Their Corner: Jo Harten
Jo Harten: My role models growing up were pretty much my family. I had grandparents that were born in times where you know there just wasn't much around two of them came over from Ireland to the UK and yeah they really gave me inspiration that if you had a little bit of a dream or if you wanted to kind of you know step outside of your comfort zone and chase your dreams, with a bit of hard work it can definitely you know change your life bank.
Sport has taught me so much it's given me so much it's helped me to you know delve into communities that I might not have even heard of if it hadn't been for netball. It's helped me become so much more resilient as a person living away from my family for over 12 years now on the other side of the world has yeah it's taught me a lot about myself but it's also taught me to follow my dreams and chase my passions.
I think teammates are everything in netball you need people to rely on the bad days and you want people to celebrate with on the good days and I think that's what netball's all about it's celebrating those small wins in the training sessions in the games and ultimately you want to win with a really great team by your side
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This content includes the views and opinions of a third-party, and does not necessarily reflect the views of Suncorp. Information is intended to be of a general nature only and any advice has been prepared without taking into account any person's particular objectives, personal situation or needs.
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