Topics:  ballina, britain, kathryn ainsworth, london, netball

Ainsworth stirs up a storm

Ballina’s Kathryn Ainsworth (with the ball) plays for Surrey Storm.
Ballina’s Kathryn Ainsworth (with the ball) plays for Surrey Storm.

A CONTIKI tour of Europe inadvertently led to the resurrection of the career of former Ballina netballer Kathryn Ainsworth.

The 27-year-old went overseas on a holiday in 2010 and wound up living in London soon after.

She was playing netball socially and was encouraged to try out at the academy of the Surrey Storm, which plays in the Netball Superleague.

The Netball Superleague is the elite, nine-team competition in England, Wales and Scotland. The Storm is one of the top teams in London and south east England.

Ainsworth made her debut with the Storm this season and has been a shining light at centre.

"She was just about ready to give it up before she went to the academy," her father Warren said.

"Kathryn made the shift to centre and they have been using her as an impact player off the bench."

Ainsworth represented New South Wales as a 17-year-old and played all her junior netball with the Ballina association.

She is a former North Coast Academy of Sport and NSW Institute of Sport scholarship holder.

She moved to Brisbane after high school and became captain of the Queensland under-21 side in 2006.

In the ensuing years she struggled to make it professionally and played for Suncoast Lynx in the Queensland Netball Association.

She now finds herself in a team that has finished first in the top tier of its competition, with the finals to be played this weekend.

The Storm will battle it out with Northern Thunder, Hertfordshire Shire Mavericks and Team Bath to claim the premiership.

"It's been great coming back into this level of netball," Ainsworth said via Twitter.



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