STEPPING UP: Ballina netballer James Joblin will represent Queensland Under-20s at the Australian championships in Melbourne next week.
STEPPING UP: Ballina netballer James Joblin will represent Queensland Under-20s at the Australian championships in Melbourne next week. Mitchell Craig

Netball: James courts national selection

IT was only out of convenience that James Joblin found himself on the netball court at Ballina almost a decade ago.

Fast forward to today and the 16-year-old is gearing up to represent the Queensland Under-20 team at the Australian championships in Melbourne next week.

"When I was seven mum had a newborn baby and she couldn't get me to soccer as well as my sister Sarah to netball," Joblin said.

"I thought I would just be playing it for a while but I ended up liking it so much I kept playing.

"I was on Facebook and saw I could get into Queensland and New South Wales teams.

"I got an email on my birthday last year saying I had made the Queensland team."

James can play just about every position on the court and is also a handy basketballer.

He is a graded netball umpire, has coached teams and played in a number of competitions.

He attends Xavier Catholic College, Skennars Head, and hopes to take on a hairdressing apprenticeship at the end of the year.

"Mum ended up taking me to soccer, football and all these other sports but I didn't like any of them," James said.

"I got into basketball for a while but eventually came back to netball.

"I really like playing in the Thursday night competition at Ballina with all my friends."

Despite being the youngest in the Queensland team, James has his sights set on Australian selection.

The chance to own a new phone has provided extra motivation for him to achieve his goal.

"Mum made a bet with me that if I get in she will buy me an iPhone 6 Plus," he said.

"The thought of making the Australian team and getting a new phone just makes me work harder."



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