Netballer excited by a selection she didn't see coming

Netballer excited by a selection she didn't see coming

20 April 2016

Grace Watson was stunned when she was selected in the New Zealand Secondary Schools netball squad earlier this month.

"I couldn't believe it at the start, to be honest," she said.

"I thought I'd had not the greatest trial, so it came as a surprise, but it was awesome."

The 15-year-old St Paul’s Collegiate student was one of three girls from the Waikato-Bay of Plenty region named in the team, alongside Tayla Earle and Courtney Elliott, who is also a member of the region’s National Netball League side.

They were all chosen after attending trials in Auckland at the start of April, which Watson says were a bit nerve-racking at first.

"It was really intimidating to start with, but everyone was really good about it.

"It brought a whole new level of focus. I thought I was focused back here playing, but going up there it was completely different."

As well as her school, Watson plays for the Suburbs Phoenix club side, and the Waiariki Maori team.

She’s been playing ever since primary school, and says the two things she enjoys the most about it are being part of a team, and getting to indulge her competitive side.

The secondary schools side has been brought together for a tournament that will be held in Auckland in the first week of May, where they will compete against other schoolgirls from around the world.

Watson says she is nervous, but excited, as she looks forward to the event.

"I think it’s going to come as a bit of a shock, the level that I'll be playing at, but it’s going to be cool."

Watson moved up to Hamilton from Rotorua this year, which has meant plenty of change.

"It’s been hard, because I've played with the same group of girls since year six reps," she said.

"There’s two of us who have moved. It’s been hard, but I think the level of training has increased, which I like, and I have different coaches, which is nice."

As for future moves, Watson is content to take them as they come.

"I kind of just want to go as far as I possibly can," she said.

"But the Magic or the under-21 team just under the Magic, I think that would probably be cool to make."

(Source: Andrew Voerman Waikato Times)