RUGBY, swimming, boxing and blindfolded soccer were just some of the activities the 37 strong NIAS netball squad were put through on the weekend.
The 2014 squad’s first camp was held at Farrer on the weekend with two days of team-building and conditioning the focus.
Head coach and NIAS Coach of The Year Kirstie Fuller has set the simple goal of improving on last year, and believes she has the young squad to do it.
“Only two of these girls will not be eligible to come back next year because of age,” Fuller said.
“It is a very talented squad and we are building for the future.”
The girls were taken through some fitness and conditioning routines by Maryanne Perkins first up on Saturday.
Perkins is a former NSW Waratahs rugby conditioning coach.
Sticking with the theme, the girls were also put through a rugby oriented session with Rugby Gold coach Gus Comi.
“It was rugby with netball equipment,” Fuller said.
“It is good to toughen them up a bit and get physical.”
The girls were also put through boxing sessions and some beep tests in the 35 degree heat, and that was just Saturday.
Fortunately they also had a conditioning session in the Farrer pool.
On Sunday former NIAS director Peter Annis Brown took the girls for a ropes and running session at Rural Fit, and then the girls finally played a game of netball.
To finish the intensive weekend off the girls were challenged with a game of blindfolded soccer.
“This weekend involved a lot of strength and conditioning, but it was more about team building and getting to know each other,” Fuller said.
“It was something a bit different.”
“Teams always play better if they are united and it’s even better if they are all friends.”
“It was fun, but tough.”
This year the coach has a new team around her with Sandra Lawrence as assistant coach and Vicki Gallagher as manager.
“We have some different ideas about fitness this year and are setting goals.”
The last two years have seen the girls finish fourth and fifth at the Academy Games.
“Third or better would be spot-on this year,” Fuller said.
“As long as we keep improving and are more competitive against the top teams.”
The girls will break over Christmas before they embark on another camp along with the Hunter Academy and possibly Central Coast.
“Central Coast have won the last two years so it would be great to train and play with them,” Fuller said.
“It will be good to learn what a stronger academy does in training and also learn from the other coaches.”
* Turn to Page 28 for more NIAS netball.
CARLOS IGA/ARMIDALE CITY BOWLING CLUB NIAS NETBALL
TIER 1: Dana Dehm, Chloe Collett, Abbey Ruttley, Rosa Comi, Jade Hammond (Tamworth), Kaitlin Driscoll, Madeline Lane, Ashlee Monckton (Inverell), Olivia Eastburn, Lauren Nott, Emma Rose (Narrabri), Nicola Bruce, Sophie Perkins (Gunnedah), Zoe Selby, Jessica Lashlie, Madeline Lane, Maisie Drielsma (Armidale), Tayla Fuller (Glenn Innes), Grace Beinke, Charlee Shearer (Moree)
TIER 2: Taya Heagney (Glen Innes), Kate Biddle, Rahni Kelly, Bria Dowell (Inverell), Genevieve Walsh, Emma Ranck, Laura Claridge, Olivia Fenwicke, Eliza Clark, Chloe Maunder, Ebony Thomas, Laura Cotterell, Sophie Hansen (Armidale), Charlotte Raleigh (Moree), Nevada Mansfield (Tamworth), Kristen Bullen (Uralla), Pyper-Rae Wagstaff (Narrabri)