NETBALL fever was high in Forrestfield today when state young gun Jessica Anstiss returned to her old stamping ground for a training session.
Fresh from her debut as most valuable player, West Coast Fever’s centre-wing defence was back where her sporting career began.
The 19-year-old, of Maida Vale, helped bring home a silver medal from the Under-21World Youth Cup in Botswana in July.
West Coast Fever signed Anstiss this year after the talent spent a year in waiting as a replacement player.
Darling Range Sports College hosted the pre-season training session early on Wednesday morning at the high school’s new stadium.
Watched by students from every year and school netball coaches, the team wound up the session by signing autographs and sharing encouraging words with younger players.
College Director of Sports Clay McLernon said state league coaches Sam McShane, Georgie Smith and Jill McIntosh champion the school’s specialist netball program, the first to be endorsed by Netball WA.
“West Coast Fever’s visit was an opportunity for the kids to see high-profile athletes training at a really high intensity to get the results on game day,” he said.
The state team is in pre-season training for next year’s early start to the Super Netball season, to be held ahead of the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
Ms McShane said the specialist sports school has won 12 state championships in the lower, middle and open divisions in the past five years.
“Every year, we aim to have more one player in a state team and last year we had three,” she said.
Currently representing the college at state level is Gardenia Treviranus Asiiata in the 15-and-under team and Katie TeAo, in national 16-and-under and 17-and-under state teams.
Asiiata will travel to Adelaide in December to play in the national Schoolgirls Netball championships.
Ms McShane said many of the school’s 120 netballers compete in WA’s premiere netball competition, the West Australian Netball League, an elite training organisation for players, coaches and umpires.