Former Quaama local and NSW Swifts star Susan Pratley has shared some advice with junior netballers last Thursday.
Nettas coach and event organiser Jo Kellalea said Pratley was an ambassador for NetSetGo! and the club had been trying to secure a visit with her since March.
Kellalea said it was a coincidence and a matter of luck that Pratley was available to visit as it was the final week for the Merimbula Netball Association.
“It was just pot luck that she was coming to see her family [in Quaama],” Kellalea said.
“Then to come and see us and Tumut after that.
“It was lucky that we got her.”
Kellalea said she was delighted with the turnout of young girls to take part in the training with a full group of 40 juniors on the day.
“We split them into age groups to make it easier.
“Five to seven-year-olds on one court and eight to10-year-olds on the other,” she said.
The training session went for an hour with Pratley closely watching both groups.
The kids were drilled on ball control skills, hand-eye coordination and teamwork with Pratley providing her knowledge to the junior players.
“Susan was overseeing the whole thing,” Kellalea said.
“We practiced shooting, passing, catching and then we played a game at the end.
“Susan was helping and giving tips.”
Pratley is passionate about sharing her skills with up-and-coming new players and said clinics for youth like NetSetGo! were a key part of developing the sport.
“NetSetGo! is an important stepping stone,” Pratley said.
“It’s a chance to get coordination and learn some of the many rules and skills needed for netball.”
Pratley said it always warmed her heart teaching the NetSetGo! courses as the young players were always really eager and excited.
“It’s fun and enjoyable at the same time and they are all so cute,” she said.
Kellalea said it was very thrilling for all the girls who got to ask Pratley questions after the session and have shirts and posters signed.
“She bought down NSW Swifts posters and signed them for the kids,” Kellalea said.
“The girls asked her questions while she signed everything, it was really positive for them.”
Kellalea told the News Weekly she was particularly excited the visit came at the end of the netball season.
“Netball finished on a high having a former Australian player come and help our club.
“It inspired the girls to come back next season.”
Kellalea said the event was a stunning success and hoped the club could hold a similar event next year.
“To have 40 kids is very big.
“And next year we hope it will be even bigger,” she said.
Kellalea said she was now looking forward to next season and getting back on the courts, but thanked all the club members for making 2013 so successful.
“Thank you to all the kids and parents for their commitment and dedication to the season,” she said.