THIS time last year, Olivia Lewis was like any other young teenager with dreams of making it big on the netball court.
It was a dream that started early on for the 19-year-old, who first ran onto the court as an enthusiastic seven-year-old with a school team before moving to the Bandits Netball Club in Rockingham.
She said it was a sport she fell in love with immediately.
“It was the sport that all my friends were going to play and I was fairly tall for my age which I thought would help,” she said.
“I enjoyed it for the relationships I’ve formed through the sport, the competitive nature, and having the opportunity to push and challenge myself on a daily basis.”
The young defender has already tasted some success on the big stage, having made the Coastal Sharks academy in 2013 and 2015, played U18s, reserves and league competitions with the Sharks since 2014 and making U17 and U19 state and national squads multiple times each.
Couple that with a slew of individual accolades including U17 and U19 national MVP awards, Western Sting MVP and the Jill McIntosh Medal as the WA Netball League’s MVP, there were few pinnacles Lewis hadn’t achieved in her young career.
That was until September, when two years of hard work as a West Coast Fever training partner paid off when she was given a contract to join the team’s senior list for the 2019 season and beyond.
“I don’t think it sunk in for a little while but the realisation that I’d be able to do what I love most as my job and get to be a part of the best competition in the world is the best feeling,” Lewis said.
“It has always been a dream, ever since I started playing and taking it more seriously, the end goal was to play for Fever as the highest level possible in WA.
She said all athletes had to start small somewhere and encouraged young netballers running around WA courts to follow their dreams.
“Don’t be afraid to just give things a go or make mistakes, that’s how you learn,” she said.
“Enjoy the journey.”