Nura Gili News Edition 27 - Page 12

Photos courtesy of PowerShots Photography Grant & Ryan: NSW State Netball Story by Grant Maling Almost 8 months ago Nura Gili students Ryan Ahearne and Grant Maling trialed to represent their state at the Australian Men’s and Mixed Netball Championships. They were both quite sceptical about making a team but after an anxious wait of about a month or so, Ryan made the under 20’s and Grant made the under 23’s men’s teams. Before long, training began 2 or 3 times a week, friendships were formed with other team mates, coaches and managers and the fitness levels were on the rise along with the hopes of winning the championship. Both of the boys agreed that while training was hard, it was also a lot of fun learning new things and developing their skills. “Some of the fitness sessions had me on the floor dying but that extra push from my team mates motivated me to push on and get through it, knowing it would help in the long run,” said Grant. “The week was so full on! We had to wake up early for morning activation, we had at least 2 games a day, then recovery, ice baths, team talks, there was so much going on and we were always busy, it was hectic,” said Grant. As with most team sports, there were a few fights and arguments within the team and with outsiders, but Ryan said they took it in their stride and worked it out together. The second last day saw the elimination, semi and preliminary finals where Grant’s team won a spot in the grand final, however Ryan’s team, after a thrilling extra time preliminary final, went down to Victoria by 2 points. “We had a bit of a hiccup around Christmas with another team, but that’s when the team really came “So there I was, laying in bed at 6am together and fought hard to prove that thinking to myself ‘we made it, this we deserved to be there,” Ryan said. is it,’ I was numb with the amount of nerves that were tingling,” Grant said. Before they knew it, the time had arrived and they were boarding their respective flights to go to Melbourne and battle their way through a week of tough netball to be crowned the National Champions. The grand final was quite the spectacle but after losing to them 3 times already, NSW under 23’s came out on top winning against Victoria 42 - 37. 12 Grant is in his final year of a Bachelor of Media (Communications and Journalism) and Ryan is in his final year of Bachelor of Arts/Education. 13