Maida Vale: West Coast Fever young gun Jess Anstiss returns to school where it all began

West Coast Fever player and Australian Diamonds squad member Jess Anstiss with Year 4, 5 and 6 students. Picture: David Baylis.
West Coast Fever player and Australian Diamonds squad member Jess Anstiss with Year 4, 5 and 6 students. Picture: David Baylis.

NETBALL superstar Jess Anstiss (21) returned to where it all began when she visited students at Maida Vale Primary School this week.

Anstiss told students how she went from being a young girl playing school and club netball to being a successful West Coast Fever player – earning her maiden call up to Australian Diamonds squad earlier this month.

Associate principal Lara Govers was Anstiss’s sport teacher during her school days and said she wasn’t surprised to see her former student thrive on the court.

“She was always very focused, she always wanted to play netball at a very high level,” she said.

“I’ll be honest she was a bit cheeky at times, she used to give me a bit of cheek, but I love that about kids, I like a bit of personality.

“Her team spirit and sportsmanship, she always supported her fellow team mates.”

Anstiss said it was a dream come true to play for Australia.

“I bawled my eyes out when the Diamonds coach called me to say I was on the team,” she said.

“It’s been a long, hard journey to playing elite netball which all started when I was eight years old and playing for Maida Vale Lightning.

“My advice to young players wanting to make a career in netball is that you need to do a lot of hard work behind closed doors when no one is watching.

“You need to be doing extra fitness sessions and practising your skills in the backyard so when you come into trials and training you are already ahead of the other players.”

The visit was organised by Perth Airport, which sponsors West Coast Fever.