Last Friday a contingent of 42 representatives of Parkes District Netball Association, including 30 players, coaches, managers, primary carers and parents travelled to Sydney for the State Age championships in Concord.
Parkes fielded three teams for the competition in the 13, 14 and 15 year age groups.
The squad stayed at the foot of the mountains in Penrith and travelled to the courts each day which meant early starts before a full day of play.
Each team played a minimum of six half hour games each day against quality opposition from all over the state.
With 19 teams in the 13 year division Parkes had some strong opposition, with Brunswick Byron being the eventual winners of this division.
Day one saw the 13s with mixed results over their six games.
It was a slow start with two losses to Casino and Inverell in their first two games after a close half time score blew out in the second half.
The next game against Gunnedah was an eight all draw which gave the girls some confidence going into their next two games which they won convincingly against Cobar and Armidale.
They finished the day going down against Macleay 10-8.
It was a hard day at the office with the girls feeling the effects of the previous days play and their team structure being shuffled due to illness with the final tally at five loses, one win.
It was again a tough one coming up against four teams who finished in the top ten.
The results were one win against Narrabri in game one, followed by three narrow losses in the next games against Woolgoolga, Sapphire Coast and Kurri Kurri going down by one heart breaking point to each on the buzzer.
With nothing left in the tank the girls went down in the last two games of the day against Goulburn and Kiama.
The 14 year group also had 19 teams in their division with Macleay the overall winners at the end of the competition.
It saw the girls get off to a great start with a win against Narrabri. Following that their draw was tough to say the least.
Despite playing hard the girls went down in the next five games but took heart as four of those were to teams that finished in the top ten.
It was up and down for the 14s with a loss in their first match against Mudgee who finished in third place.
The girls bounced back getting a win up against Gunnedah, then unfortunately going down to Goulburn and Inverell, before being back in the winner’s circle with a strong game against Yass.
Their final match of the day saw the girls go down against Ulladulla.
It was another tough one battling fatigue and playing 4 more top ten rated teams.
The results from the girl’s final day of play were five losses against Leeton, Woolgoolga, Kiama, Lower Clarence and Port Stephens.
However, the girls never gave up fighting and took away one win against Armidale.
The largest field was in the 15 yr division with 21 teams competing with eventual winners being Armidale.
A tough day one draw meant the 15s had to hit the ground running as they faced some of the strongest teams in the competition.
Unfortunately despite their best efforts the girls went down to Temora, Grafton, Group 14, Narrandera and Gunnedah but finished the day on a positive with a win over Ulladulla and Districts.
Starting with a match up against eventual winners Armidale who were too strong.
The girls refused to give in and regrouped to post their second win of the comp over Sapphire Coast before going down against quality opposition Brunswick Byron and a further three narrow losses to Glen Innes, Cessnock and Kurri Kurri.
It brought seven matches for a tired but determined 15s team.
The final tally on the last day of competition was four losses against Macleay, Lower Clarence, West Wyalong and Mount Druitt, one narrow loss against Coonabarabran and two wins, one against Narrabri and a nail biter against Port Stephens which saw Parkes finish up by one point.
A highlight of the weekend was getting to watch the Round 10 Suncorp Super Netball match between the Giants and Swifts at the ICC on Sunday night after meeting some of the players on Saturday.
The effort and determination of the teams both in the lead up to the competition and throughout the weekend was evident and they should all be very proud of themselves.
All of the girls were wonderful representatives of their club, their town and their families displaying excellent behaviour and sportsmanship throughout their trip.
Many thanks goes to all of the coaches, managers, primary carers and parents for their help and support both on the weekend and throughout the season.
Benefits of Running. Playing netball requires you to run around the pitch, sprint short distances and change direction quickly.
The running skills involved provide a good cardiovascular workout and over time will improve your fitness, strength and agility.