NSW athletes selected for 2017 Marie Little OAM Shield

Netball NSW is pleased to announce the 2017 Marie Little OAM Shield Team who will represent our State at the national tournament being hosted in Perth, WA later this year.

Head Coach Jenny O’Keeffe has selected a wider squad of 15 athletes, which includes 10 players in the team and a further five Training Partners who will participate in NSW’s campaign leading up to the competition being played 1-3 September, 2017.

Having gone through the 2016 tournament undefeated, NSW will welcome back eight players to this year’s team as well as new and returning faces. Nicole Harris from St George District Netball Association will make her Marie Little OAM Shield debut this year, while NSW welcome back Uriah Weston (Blue Mountains) who was part of the successful 2015 team – also crowned undefeated Champions.

O’Keeffe said it was great to see so many familiar faces returning to the team, as well as the welcome addition of training partners, as NSW embark on Day 1 of their 2017 campaign.

“We’re really excited by the team we have representing NSW at this year’s Marie Little OAM Shield Tournament,” O’Keeffe said.

“We have some athletes returning for their third or fourth consecutive year, and the experience they bring will be integral. But it’s also fantastic to welcome some new faces amongst the group to learn and develop their skills – hopefully it will encourage others to pick up netball and give it a go.”

For the first time in 2017, the Marie Little OAM Shield will be extended and played across three days – rather than the traditional two-day competition. O’Keeffe says while it is an exciting development, it also provides challenges for the team.

“With more teams participating than ever before it’s natural for the competition to be extended, and that’s a really exciting development; however, it also means longer away from home and more games played, so it’s our job to make sure our players are prepared for that,” O’Keeffe said.

“We’ve been really successful the last couple years and we will be drawing on that again in 2017. But most importantly we’ll be making sure the girls have fun, feel proud they’re representing their State, and hopefully success will follow that and we can bring home the trophy again.”

Named after disability netball pioneer Marie Little OAM, the shield is a national netball championships for women with an intellectual disability and supported by national community inclusion partner Australia Post.

Six States and Territories will participate in the 2017 event which is an important event in the annual Australia Post One Netball calendar, alongside other national diversity and inclusion programs.

NSW has claimed the two of the last four titles undefeated, with Netball Victoria being crowned Champions in the first two years (2013-2014). Both will be in action again this year, along with fellow inaugural participant Netball SA, Netball QLD and hosts Netball WA – who first participated in 2016 – and Netball NT contesting for the first time this year.

Congratulations to all the athletes named in the 2017 Netball NSW Marie Little OAM Shield Team.

2017 NSW Marie Little OAM Shield Team
Dallas AUSTIN – Blue Mountains
Rebel ERVASTI – Hastings Valley
Melissa GALLAGHER – Blue Mountains
Nicole HARRIS – St George District
Kristin MERCER – Illawarra & District
Bernadette MILLS – Orange
Eliza MILLS – Orange
Nalyn SIRIVIVATNANON – Eastwood Ryde
Katelyn SMITH – Newcastle
Uriah WESTON* – Blue Mountains
Danielle BURNS – Newcastle
Ellen HESTER – Eastwood Ryde
Theresa JACKSON – Gosford
Tamara KEENAN – Sutherland Shire
Jane THORPE – Sutherland Shire
Head Coach: Jenny O’Keeffe (Baulkham Hills)
Assistant Coach: Therri Ellison (Inner West)
Manager: Ellen Monaghan (Newcastle)
Apprentice Coach: Emily Midson (Eastwood Ryde)