PARKERVILLE teen Ella Crisp’s (14) spirit on the netball court and as a team player has been recognised with an award.
The St Brigid’s College Year 8 student, who first took up the sport aged five, won the Spirit of Kalamunda & Districts Netball Association (KDNA) award for the second time this year after accepting it in 2015.
“My coach cried when I received it and the head coach for the under-14s said it was a unanimous decision to give it to me so I felt pretty humbled,” Ella said.
“It’s not just for the best player but for the all-round netballer who always does everything without complaint, consistently strives to get better, is encouraging to her teammates, displays good behaviour on court, and utilises her talent.
“It was pretty special to get an award like that again, especially considering I’m not a shooter and I don’t think I’m a total netball superstar.”
Ella said the game taught players teamwork, leadership and how to hold each other accountable.
“You can’t win in netball without playing as a team, thinking about each other, knowing each other’s strengths and weaknesses and being able to guess where your teammates will be,” she said.
“I love that netball looks like a girly sport but requires real toughness.
“Sometimes I go to watch my older brother play under-18s division 1 soccer and if they get tackled too hard they roll on the ground moaning until they get a free kick. We don’t stop playing unless there’s blood on the ball or blood on the court.”
She began playing with her local Parkerville club before trying out for the KDNA development squad aged 11.
“I play wing defence mostly which is often considered one of the least important positions on a team,” she said.
“But as one of the KDNA coaches told me this year, a good wing attack can win a game so it’s my job to shut down the ball before it ever gets to their shooters.”
Between KDNA and her Saturday team, Hillians, Ella trains three times a week, plays full weekend carnivals, and umpires on Saturdays.
“The development netball season has just finished and we won our home carnival at Ray Owen so that was an amazing way to finish the season,” she said.
“My next thing to focus on is playing in the grand finals with my Hillians team and winning for the third year in a row.
“There’s some really good teams in our division so I hope we get there. We’re currently second on the ladder.”
In 2016, she began a fundraising campaign for the Confident Girls Netball Program to give those disadvantaged an opportunity to play.
“The fundraiser is over now but we raised about $500 for the charity which helps put girls on teams that wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford to play,” she said
Ella has been nominated for the Junior Individual category in the Community Newspaper Group’s Local Sports Star Awards.
To nominate, visit localsportstars.com.au.
Name: Ella Crisp
Category: Junior Sports Star Individual