In 2019 I have taken on the job title of Reporter for Netball Scoop. I could hardly call it a “job” as it has given me some of the best experiences I have ever had.
Netball has been a huge part of my life since I was 7 years old. To say I am passionate about the sport and the athletes involved would be a huge understatement. I am passionate not only about the growth of this sport but the over-due recognition of the athletes who play it.
The Suncorp Super Netball competition is regarded as the best in the world. It is unrelieved for fitness, strength and intensity; now in its third season there is no doubt the athletes have reached new levels of competitiveness and fierceness.
One such athlete is the captain of the NSW Swifts, Maddy Proud. Not one to take a backward step on court, she was leading by example at the start of this season, and her Swifts, who many had not put in finals contention at the start of the competition, were sitting at the top of the ladder enjoying on-court connections other teams could only dream of.
But sport can be cruel, and in round seven against the Queensland Firebirds Proud ruptured her ACL, which meant her 2019 season was over. On court, anyway.
I had the absolute pleasure of talking to Maddy a few weeks post her knee injury and surgery about what the rest of the season now looked like for her beloved Swifts and the role she would now play within the team, her goals for the rest of the year, and how she has found the time to write a sequel to her debut book “Grace on the Court”.
She is an extraordinary young woman who really should be proudly Maddy.