NETBALL: Rockhampton netballer Hayley Smith has had to complete some detailed paperwork to realise her next sporting dream.
The 16-year-old is in the throes of getting her passport after being selected in the Budgies Australian open indigenous schoolgirls netball team to play in Fiji in May.
This is the third consecutive year that Smith has represented the Budgies.
In the previous two years, as a member of the under-16 team, she played at the week-long National Indigenous Schoolgirls Carnival held on the Gold Coast.
In 2017, as part of the open side, she and her teammates will contest the International Schoolgirls Challenge, taking on countries including New Zealand, South Africa, Malaysia and Sri Lanka.
"I'm excited,” Smith said of what will be her first foray into international competition and her first trip overseas.
"I've played with a lot of the girls before so it will be good to team up with them again and it will be really good to play netball against other countries.”
Smith plays at the defensive end of the court, filling the role of either goal defence or goal keeper.
Now in Year 12 at Emmaus College, she first started playing netball in Year 7 because many of her friends were involved.
She is passionate about the game and loves everything it offers, including the physical challenge, the teamwork, the camaraderie and the opportunity to set and achieve new goals.
Smith plays with Bluebirds in the Rockhampton competition and is looking to secure a place in their senior A team this year.
Budgies Netball Australia director Debbie Farrell said the quietly spoken Smith was an impressive young player.
"Hayley's always shown plenty of talent and her selection is very deserving. She is incredibly good and I expect her to do really well in Fiji,” she said.
"Australia normally does pretty well at the international event, usually finishing in the top three, but there is certainly some quality opposition there.”