Our gold attack
THEY are the same netball championships that have seen the rise of Sydney Swifts player Kristy Durheim.
Dreams could be made over the next three days at the State Age Championships in Sydney and the Illawarra when hundreds of players line up to contest age groups from under-12s to under-15s.
Brunswick-Byron and Lismore have sent four teams and Ballina and Casino have entered three teams.
Each team will play a gruelling 19 games during the tournament against NSW’s best city and country teams.
“From these championships, Kristy Durheim has gone on to play for the Swifts and Lauren Sculley has gone on to play state level in under-17s and under-19s,” Lismore Netball Association president Melissa Dundas said.
Combined High Schools representative Lauren Yager will offer Lismore’s under-15s plenty of options up front in attack.
Other Lismore players expected to stand out include Chloe Daly and Jessica Thodey (U14), Shania Donnelly and Zoe Bellos (U13) and Ruby Dardengo and Ellie Gilchrist (U12).
Ballina will have a strong representation this weekend with all of their teams to participate at division two level.
“It’s a great effort from a small association,” Ballina vice-president Liz Shaw said.
“Our under-14s made the top 10 last year so this year they’re aiming for the top five.
“They’re undefeated so far in FNC netball this year.”
Ballina under-14 players tipped to go well include Emma Sculley and Kate Shaw.
Brunswick-Byron will be no pushovers.
Their under-15s won division four last year and have been promoted to division three.
“The girls are very confident,” coach Leslie Kirk said.
“They’ve put in extra fitness sessions since early February.”
Victoria Leary, who also returns from a fifth place at the National Marist School Championships, is expected to finish with a high shooting percentage.
Leary, along with Amelia Meikle, Taylor Kempnich and Eliza Salvatore have played for Brunswick-Byron at the State Age Championships for the past four years.
Brunswick-Byron’s under-13s will compete in division four for the first time and the club’s under-14 team will also go around in this division.
The squad will play hard for Edyn Fawcett who passed away last year due to a brain tumour after representing Brunswick-Byron at under-12 level.