Via Esperance Express
By Caitlyn Rintoul
Esperance Anglican Community School’s new netball academy has kick-started on a high after a visit from West Coast Fever players.
The school has set up the pilot academy for teenage netball lovers in the region.
Professional athletes Verity Charles and Shannon Eagland took two sessions during a recent trip to town, one with the Esperance Netball Association at the stadium and one at the school.
School netball specialist coordinator Sharelle Walter helped coordinate the school clinic and said it provided good experience for attending players.
Students from schools around the region participated in activities between 1pm to 2:30pm.
Ms Walter said the clinic was a wonderful way to introduce students to the new netball specialist program.
Set to head the program when it commences in 2018, Ms Walter said it would be a great addition to the school.
While Ms Walter said the program primarily endeavours to increase the athlete’s skills, player ability and confidence as umpires and coaches will be focused on.
“They’ll do a lot of theory and practical as well as the nutritional health side of it,” she said.
Ms Walter said anyone interested in the selection-based program just needed to call the school for information.
“Basically they just need to call the school to join and we can view them. We can organise a trial day later on in the year,” she said.
“We’re targeting not just Esperance athletes, but we’re trying to go for those students in Kalgoorlie and Albany and in-between there. Anyone who wants to get involved in netball. We can offer what Perth offers.”
Initially Ms Walter said the program was going to be open to four year groups.
“We’ve got that much of an expression of interest that we’ve opened it up for five,” she said.
Also a teacher and lower school coordinator Ms Walter said that keen interest didn’t come as a surprise.
“I knew what I had at the school,” she said.
“It has been great, especially getting the interest from what will be year sevens in 2018.
“That’s pretty fantastic.
“Hopefully it still becomes… bigger and maybe we can open it up to all six year groups.”
One student who relished the opportunity on Friday was year nine girl Imogen Stone.
Imogen said training with West Coast Fever players was “exciting and cool”.
“It’s nice to be able to play this sort of netball. [It’s] not really anything that you ever get to do with juniors,” she said.
“Not many people actually know most of them but I really admire them all.”
Imogen said she was keen to join the academy when it commences next year.
“I’ve not been one to really enjoy school. I think adding this into school makes it more fun,” she said.
Participating in juniors, seniors and academy teams Imogen said she gets a fair dose of netball action each week.
Imogen started playing netball when she was four-years-old and said she has thoroughly enjoyed the sport ever since.
On court Imogen is either a centre or wing attack, mainly playing in Esperance and Quairading where she used to live.
Imogen made special mention to Ms Walter whom she labelled as a great mentor.
“She’s a very good mentor for me. I always look up to her for playing skills and coaching skills,” she said.
“I play with her as well on our seniors teams.”
Visit Esperance Anglican Community School’s website for more information and contact details.