The unsung heroes : Part 1

This year the Carina Leagues Club Tigers had six training partners who assisted the squad in their training sessions and took part in games to cover injuries and illness.

Captain, Amy Sommerville has been in a similar situation as our training partners and was impressed by how well all six handled the environment and is looking forward to seeing them continue to push and be a part of the main squad. “We were incredibly lucky this year to have 6  dedicated and committed athletes a part of our extended squad this year. Being a training partner is tough, it has the exact same demands as a contracted player would have, but you don’t get the enjoyment of being able to pull on the dress each week to play. No matter what the girls showed up each week to cheer us on, and they were incredibly important to the squad and the Tiger family. They pushed us and made us earn our spot each week, and we are so thankful to them for being great athletes both on and off the court.”

We chatted to our training partners to get an insight into how their year is going, and what they learnt from their year as a training partner.

Maddy Iva

Maddy Iva is in her second year of being a training partner for the squad. “I’ve learnt a lot whilst being a training partner for the Carina League Tigers. My biggest take away from my experience this year was learning to utilise the resources I had at my disposal. I learnt that it’s always great to ask questions, you learn more that way!”

Not only is Maddy a part of the Tigers squad, she also has quite a few other commitments outside of her netball, including being school captain.

“It’s true. Balancing Tigers, GBNL, indoor netball, seasonal school sports, school, daily religious commitments and the other demands of my life was not an easy thing. In fact, I don’t think I ever got into the proper swing of things until the very end of the season. My schedule was forever changing, but by prioritising my personal well-being and health I was able to keep on top of things in my own way.”

When asked what her stand out moment for the year were, playing was high on the list. “My stand out moments of the year would have to be whenever I was able to take the court for our Ruby Team. Playing alongside young women who are equally as amazing off the court as they are on it will always be an honorary moment.”

Maddy has been working hard on her technical side of the game, with a whole heap of athleticism, Maddy is working hard at goal of nailing her netball smarts. ” I want to become a smarter player, have my athleticism and court smarts align with one another!” Off the court, Maddy is bubbly and is an integral member of any team as she has a great way of bringing people together. We asked Maddy some fun facts – “I have a big interest in CrossFit! I love eating! I’m going to graduate this year! I’m a member of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and my birthdays in October!”

Tahlia Walls 

This is Tahlia’s first year as a Training Partner and has been able to take a lot away from the experience. “I’ve really enjoyed my first year involved in the Sapphire/Ruby series and being a training partner with Tigers. To me, the biggest lesson I learnt from Joe, Justin and all the girls was how important ‘team’ is and how far you can go with trust, teamwork and support. It helped me to look at the bigger picture in things and to try and create the same sense of community not only in my GBNL team but also at work and with my friends.”

Working full time during the campaign, juggling GBNL, and life has been a challenge, but Tahlia managed to get through, and was able to reap rewards of the program, by being called upon multiple times to take part in game day “I would be lying if I said juggling working full-time, playing GBNL, Tigers, having a social life all while living on the North side of Brisbane was breeze. It took some adjusting however, I wouldn’t have had it any other way! I love keeping active and busy.”

Stand out moment for the year for Tahlia was to be able to pull on the dress and play. “It’s hard to pick just one as this was my first year being involved in the Sapphire/Ruby series. I would say putting on the black and orange dress for the first time against Cougars and coming out with the win is hard to beat, but watching the girls win the grand final has to be up there as well.”

After getting a taste of the Ruby Series, Tahlia is eager to keep developing. “My goals I think would be to continue to grow and evolve as a player and really push myself to see what I am capable of and what I can achieve. I just want to be the best version of me that I can.”

And if you already weren’t impressed by Tahlia, she can solve a Rubik’s cube in under 1 minute and 20 seconds.

Charlize Ratu 

One of the young superstars of the squad, Charlize was a first time training partner in Ruby and impressed at every training and in each game she was given the opportunity .After her first year, Charlize has learnt about high performance behaviours.  “I’ve learnt how to take my training, recovery and game more seriously, due to it being such a high level of Netball.” A big part of Charlize’s learning curve was the pre season training. “Preseason helped me big tie with my fitness and motivation.”

The talented athlete is also a QLD Rugby Union representative so being able to juggle and plan ahead is important to Charlize managing her schedule. “I think due to me doing multiple sports I’ve always had to juggle everything around a bit, but I have a tight schedule to follow in order to achieve my goals.”

A common theme for stand out moments have been the moments the training partners get their opportunity to play. “Stand out moment for would be 1000% playing. The girls are so easy and supportive and it was just a great experience.”

Charlize is working hard to be able to make her next step in her Netball journey. “My small Netball goals would definitely be to make Ruby, and then hopefully get a chance to debut with the Sapphire girls.” She even promised she can shoot and not miss.

We can’t wait to see what is next for these three. We know whatever they do they will be absolutely amazing! Stay tuned for part 2 where we chat to Keira, Rose and Casey.