Netballers shoot for academy selection

MORE than 20 Central Queensland netballers from Barcaldine to Yeppoon battled it out on the weekend for a spot in the Capricorn Regional Academy.

The girls, aged 15 to 17, took part in the trial conducted at the Central Queensland Community Sports Centre by new Capricorn Regional Netball Academy head coach Lyn Jackson, and Queensland Netball Academy co-ordinator Tracey Bruce.

Rockhampton Netball president Barbara Ahmat said 12 girls would be selected for the academy.

"It's a pathway for the girls to gain Queensland selection," Ahmat said.

"It gives the country girls a much better chance to be selected."

The trial is a new initiative, following Netball Queensland's decision to restructure its development pathway to feature an Elite Academy in each of Netball Queensland's 12 regions state-wide.

Designed to provide statewide development for netball players, coaches, umpires and officials, the regional academy program will assist all.

The trials were open to girls from Alpha, Biloela, Blackall, Blackwater, Capricorn Coast, Curtis Coast, Emerald, Gladstone, Longreach, Rockhampton and Barcaldine. Ahmat said the 12 lucky girls chosen for the academy would be announced tomorrow on the Netball Queensland website,

In other women's sporting news, Yeppoon sailer Renee McCall recently returned from two months of intensive sailing regattas.

McCall competed in the Australian Laser Championships and Australian Youth Championships in Hobart and the Australian Youth Olympic Festival in Sydney over the Christmas break.

The talented teen enjoyed the opportunity to compete in the Youth Olympic Festival, an AOC initiative which was implemented to help prepare athletes who are likely to compete at the Olympic Games.

Her team managed to tie for fifth place in the international event, after a slow start.

McCall is now juggling a busy final year at school while still competing as much as possible.

"I need to put in a lot of time to year 12 this year, but have scheduled my time to enable me to keep enough time to for a decent training schedule," she said.

She is also a coach at the Keppel Bay Sailing Club and has been appointed coach of Keegan McCluskey, a young sailor who has high potential for the Paralympics.

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