NSW Marie Little Shield Team & NSW Swifts Star/One Netball Ambassador Maddy Proud
Netball NSW’s Marie Little Shield team returned to Sydney last week as bronze medallists in the national netball competition for girls with an intellectual disability.
They were quick to find the positives after overcoming two losses from the first two matches against Victoria and South Australia, who ended up playing the Gold Medal match.
Our NSW girls showcased great sportsmanship, persevering against odds to win all remaining five matches and the national Bronze.
The NSW team had some familiar returning faces, including Captain Melissa Gallagher and Vice-Captain Dallas Austin.
There were also some new faces who performed brilliantly, including shooters Isabella Conroy and Jessica Daher as well as mid-courters Ellen Hester and Emma Mangan.
Head Coach Therri Ellison reflected on the makeup of the 2019 team: “I really enjoyed the challenge of bringing some experienced and some new players to form a united team. I learnt a lot about the dynamics of coaching, but so much more about the inter-personal connections that are involved in coaching athletes with diverse needs.”
Throughout the entire program, Netball NSW had 18 girls trial for the Marie Little Shield team – with 10 team members and 8 training partners. This year, the ACT participated in the competition for the first time. In order to ensure they had enough players, four Netball NSW training partners were allowed the rare opportunity to compete under the banner of the ACT.
Assistant Coach Gill Bennett was thrilled at the opportunity: “The inclusion of some of the NSW training partners gave them the opportunity to play at a more competitive level. The players and supporters were very enthusiastic and thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to play in the Marie Little Shield”.
The 2019 tournament was a brilliant learning experience for the Netball NSW team.
“Their positivity after disappointment early on in the competition was led by great team leadership from both our captain and vice-captain and embraced by the whole team” said Bennett.
This was further encouraged by Ellison: “I was very proud of our athletes over the three days of the tournament. Each individual showed drive and determination and they worked hard for each other over the tournament”.
Other All Abilities netball programs taking place in NSW can be found here. NSW will be gunning for gold once again in 2020.
Keep an eye out for trial dates in 2020!