QBE Swifts Academy athletes selected

The NSW Swifts are delighted to announce the 24 athletes selected for the inaugural year of the QBE Swifts Academy.

Launched with the backing of Netball NSW and the NSW Swifts’ principal partner QBE Insurance, the Academy will look to strengthen the foundations of one of netball’s most celebrated clubs by providing further pathway opportunities to aspiring players from across the state.

It will start operation at Netball Central in Sydney Olympic Park later this year. The aim is to provide a daily training environment for home-grown NSW athletes who have the potential to play for the club in the future.

Underpinning the 10 rostered athletes in the main NSW Swifts squad which will contest Suncorp Super Netball, Academy players will consist of Swifts training partners, the NSW Waratahs – who contest the Australian Netball League – and more developing talent identified by Netball NSW selectors.

Under the stewardship of recently appointed Academy head coach Lenore Blades, athletes will benefit from up to three high-performance court sessions per week, three strength and conditioning sessions, and programs involving performance analysis, skill and movement mentoring, sports psychology and recovery.

NSW Swifts General Manager Nikki Horton congratulated everyone selected.

“This is a very special moment for these athletes who have dreams of playing netball at the highest level,” she said.

“Not only are these players going to see the how some of the best in NSW go about their preparations, they will also learn from standout international players such as Paige Hadley, Sarah Klau, Helen Housby and Sam Wallace.

“It is vital that we have depth in our pathways. We saw how important players likes Sophie Halpin and Tayla Fraser (both named in the Academy) were when injury struck. Having players of that ability able to come in and hit the ground running really helped deliver the Swifts’ Premiership victory this year.

“With this Academy it puts us in a great position to build on our six Premierships and keep the club at the forefront of elite club netball.

“I would also like to thank QBE Insurance for their support of this project, which is a continuation of our long-standing and prosperous partnership.”


Athlete Name Association
Alisha Cairns Eastwood Ryde
Alison Miller Eastwood Ryde
Amorangi Malesala Penrith
Audrey Little Manly Warringah
Brooke Paterson Randwick
Charlotte Smith Sutherland Shire
Chelsea Mann Manly Warringah
Courtney Castle Blacktown
Dakota Thomas Newcastle
Elle Bennetts Northern Suburbs
Kara Styles Sutherland Shire
Kelly Singleton Manly Warringah
Kristen Kessler Wyong District
Laura Rodger Gosford
Laura Towell Sutherland Shire
Leilani Rohweder Eastwood Ryde
Madeline Eaton Sutherland Shire
Matilda Elliot Ballina
Nicole Styles Eastwood Ryde
Olivia Coleman Eastwood Ryde
Sophie Fawns Wagga Wagga
Sophie Halpin Eastwood Ryde
Stephanie MacGougan Manly Warringah
Tayla Fraser Baulkham Hills