IN the seven months since her Diamonds debut, Courtney Bruce has gone from shock selection to key player in Australia’s quest for gold at the Commonwealth Games.
The West Coast Fever defender, who made her debut against England in last year’s Quad Series, looms as an integral part of an Australian side desperate to retain the gold medal they won in Glasgow.
The Gosnells product admitted she did not remember much of her first national team game, despite being named the game’s MVP as Australia claimed a 54-50 win.
“It was all a bit of a blur and pretty exciting, my mum and dad came over for it and they were over the moon for me,” she said.
“I think I still probably didn’t believe I was starting goalkeeper for that game, it was exciting to debut at home and win.”
With the games less than a month away, the Kelmscott High School graduate said she was already excited at the prospect of representing her country in front of a fervent home crowd.
“It means the absolute world to be at a home Commonwealth Games and to be in a stadium which is basically just going to be cheering for us,” she said.
Despite Bruce’s status as a star on the rise, it could have been a different story had her parents not persuaded her to play netball as a teenager.
Her parents encouraged her to join a team in an effort to combat her shyness and the 24-year-old admitted netball helped her become more extroverted.
“Playing netball, you get to hang out with 11 of your best mates, girls who are hopefully challenging you to be better on and off the court,” she said.
“When you play a team sport, I think you just want to do the best you can for them and you have to come out of your shell a bit.”
While she has deferred her studies temporarily due to her netball commitments, Bruce is currently studying social science and is hoping to use it to help other young netballers.
“I think I’ve always been quite curious in the way people work and why they do the things they do and I think I see a gap and at the moment, especially in that 12-16 age group,” she said.
“I think being around young netballers in that age group, I can make a difference there.”