Rising young star Sarah McIlveen is preparing for one of her biggest netballing tests.
The Carinya Christian School student will take the court for the NSW Christian Schools Sports Association (CSSA) under-16 side at the National Christian Schools Games on the Gold Coast.
Played every two years the tournament will pit the Blues against teams from South Australia, Victoria and Queensland.
McIlveen will fly down on Monday to link up with her team-mates ahead of their opening game against South Australia 2 on Tuesday morning.
"I can't wait, it should be really good," she said.
It has been a long countdown to the Games with the defender learning of her selection in the side around August last year.
The 16-year old had a big 2018. As well as playing for the CSSA side, she also made the Combined Independent Schools (CIS) team, the second stage of the NSW 17 and under team state trials, and was named in Netball NSW's Regional Talent Squad.
Consisting of regional athletes identified by selectors as having the potential to play for NSW in the future, she has been travelling down to Sydney about once a month for training.
"It's been good," she said.
She said has learnt a lot and felt her game overall has benefited from the top quality coaching and training she has received.
At one camp they had Giants defender Sam Poolman come in and run a defensive session, which McIlveen said was "really good".
Also part of the Northern Inland Academy of Sport netball squad, McIlveen played for the Quirindi 17s side in Division 3 of the regional league.
The finals of that were played in Tamworth two weekends ago with her Quirindi side finishing runners-up.
"We lost the grand final by one in extra-time," she said.
McIlveen said that was giving her an extra spur to have success on the Gold Coast.
When she returns, she will turn her focus towards next month's Senior State Titles where she will turn out for the Quirindi 17s.